"The readers are just eating up your work..."
Doug Lance, Editor Romance & eFiction Magazines
Saturday, January 31, 2015
February 1 Sunday A Month Of Love from BJ Neblett
Hello and welcome to February, the month of love. Regular
readers of this blog and of my short stories and poetry know that I am a
hopeless romantic. I write regularly for Romance Magazine (Click the image at
the right) and each Valentine’s Day I try and do something special for my
readers. This year my good pal and fellow writer Carol Griffin and I have
teamed up to bring you a month full of romantic music, poetry, scenery, stories
and more. Check back here every Sunday this month for a new story on everyone's
favorite subject: romance! And when you have enjoyed the postings here, click
the link above, BJ's Poetry Blog. Each and every day in February I will be
posting a new love poem, saying or thought for your enjoyment along with a
romantic scene and a song. We hope you enjoy these postings as much as we have
enjoyed putting them together for you. Who knows, maybe this will be the year
that I find that certain someone! And as always, be sure to like, link, comment
and share the love!
“Hey, how are you doing? I was
wondering if you were going to call.”
“You were, were you… didn’t trust
“Well, let’s just say it wouldn’t be
the first time a pretty lady had changed her mind about me.”
“Oh, no… no, it’s nothing like that.
I am so, so sorry… we were swamped; I had to work, and…”
“Hey, hey… Shhh… it’s ok.”
“You told me you had to work,
“And you also told me you didn’t
know when you would be getting off, right?”
“Yes, I did…”
“So… now you’re off work and you’re
calling me, just like you said you would.”
“It’s not too late is it? I didn’t
wake you or anything, did I?”
“No, silly, not at all. I’m a
night person; I was just doing some writing. And I’m really glad you called.
But you must be tired. Do you still want to meet? It’s ok if you’re too tired.”
“No, not at all, I’d like that.”
“Me, too… meet me at the Ballard
Bell in about fifteen minutes. Ok?”
“See you there.”
It was the call David had been
waiting for all day. Uncertain of when, or even if Morgéne would keep her
promise and call, he’d skipped his weekly Monday night poker game. And for David,
skipping a chance to play poker was a big deal. But he liked this girl and he
wanted her to know. Sunday, somewhere between the anti-pasta and the thin crust
pizza, David decided he’d fight his natural shy instincts. If he got shot down
so be it; at least he’d give it a shot. To David’s surprise the attractive waitress
responded. They’d made tentative plans to meet the following evening after Morgéne
finished her shift. Quickly slipping into a light polo, a comfy pair of well
worn jeans and a splash of Aqua di Silva, he hurried out the back door of his
apartment building and headed up Ballard Avenue.
Morgéne sat cross-legged beneath the
historic bell tower. It was only the third time David had seen her, and the
first time outside of the restaurant. He recognized the captivating smile from
half a block away. At the same time, he felt his own demeanor slipping. The
familiar dopey grin was his tell, the
unmistakable facial billboard announcing to the world his growing interest in
Her pretty face lit up. “Hi…”
Nervously, David sat next to Morgéne
on the stone step. Close… not too close…
he reminded himself. And look at her when
you talk, you idiot… look into her eyes! Trying his best to relax, David
gazed into Morgéne’s clear blue eyes and immediately turned mute. “Ah… it’s…
it’s um… a beautiful night, isn’t it?”
Morgéne glanced skyward, stretching
her trim body like a waking cat. “Mmm, yeah it really is…” She caught herself
in mid yawn. “Oh, sorry…”
“You look pretty beat. I mean…
pretty, but beat… long day?”
This time her yawn blossomed full. “Yeah,
I guess so.”
Rising, David extended his hands,
“C’mon, I think I know what you need.”
Wearily, Morgéne reached out,
allowing David to pull her to her feet. “Oh, you do, do you?”
“Yup…” Morgéne’s hand was warm, felt
good in his as they wandered down Ballard Avenue.
“So, where is it we’re going?”
“I told ya, I know what you need.” David
glanced over to the alluring brunette and their eyes once more met. “You trust
me, don’t you?”
She tilted her head in thought,
sizing him up. “Yeah,” Morgéne said with an approving nod, “yeah, I do.”
They walked the final block in
comfortable silence. Closing the door to the cozy apartment, David switched on
the light and dropped his keys in a waiting bowl. Still holding Morgéne’s
tender hand, he led her to the couch. “Sit…”
“Yes, Sir,” Morgéne replied. She
watched as David turned on some soft R&B then made his way to the kitchen.
“You, young lady, just relax, and do
as I say.” Settling in next to her, David popped the tab of a Bud Light can and
passed it over. “Here,” he patted his lap, “give me your feet.”
Sipping the ice cold beer, Morgéne
obediently complied. Seconds later, her shoes and socks lay on the floor as David
gently massaged her sore feet. “Oh, my God,” taking another long satisfying
drink, Morgéne felt herself melting into the plush sofa. “That feels
incredible! You were right; this is exactly what I needed.”
It had been a long time, too long,
since anyone had treated her so tender and thoughtfully. “Please, don’t stop.”
Todd relaxed back, resting his feet
on the cluttered desk. “Wish someone would rub my tired dogs.” Stretching, he
glanced at the wall. “Eleven thirty one. Restaurant closes at what, eleven,
Felix?” Felix’s eyes searched back and forth; his tail swishing in metronome
monotony. But the vintage cat clock remained mute. “Ah, what do you know? A
fresh nine volt battery every six months keeps you happy.” He rose, stretching
again. “I should have opted for the antique coo-coo clock. At least then I’d
get some kind of a response twice an hour.”
Retrieving two pages from the
printer, Todd adjusted his reading glasses and flopped down on the couch. Well, at least something came from this
wasted evening. Wonder how the poker game went tonight. Scanning the
freshly printed sheets, he sighed. “Humm, Morgéne,
she certainly has an intriguing name. Maybe I can make something out of this.”
For the next thirty minutes the
writer read and re-read the labors of his evening, making minor changes and
corrections. Although barely two pages, the seven hundred fifty plus words tentatively
titled Morgéne weren’t too bad. “Out
of misery… and fact is stranger than fiction,” Todd commented aloud. Removing
his reading glasses, Todd rubbed his weary eyes. “Then again, I would like to
see what it’s like to come up with a story based on an actual, real
Oh no, oh don’t you do it now/
Don’t hang up/
Oh no, no/
The old Orlons song ring tone
stirred Todd from his thoughts.
“Wow, after midnight, I wonder who
this could be. Hello…”
“Hi, it’s me, Morgéne. I hope it’s
not too late. I kinda figured you’d still be awake.”
“Oh, no, no problem at all; I was
just doing some writing. But I was wondering if you were going to call.”
“Ah, having doubts?”
The comment made Todd smile. “Of
course not; but then again you wouldn’t be the first beautiful woman to stand
“Now, that I find hard to believe.” Todd
could hear Morgéne trying to suppress a yawn. “But I am sorry, we were swamped
An eerie feeling of déjà vu slipped
down Todd’s spine. He shook it off. “I figured it was something like that. But
you do sound tired. If you’re too tired we can meet tomorrow night.”
This time Todd was sure she was
trying to mask a laugh. “No, no, it’s a beautiful night and I need to unwind,
I’m beat,” Morgéne replied. “How about we meet at the Ballard Bell in about
“Perfect. And I think I know what
you need. See you there.”
The next morning Todd awoke on the
sofa. Stumbling to the bathroom, he found a note scrawled on the mirror in soft
ruby lipstick: Thanks for last night, it
was nice. And, you were right; the foot massage was exactly what I needed.
Three days passed. Todd managed to
complete a new story for Romance Magazine, edit a flash fiction piece for a
friend, and get some much needed work done on his latest fantasy novel. But his
mind remained on Morgéne. Then again, it seemed lately all of his thoughts
revolved around the attractive and mysterious waitress. Not a big fan of pan
style pizza, he’d been inexplicably drawn to the new restaurant during its soft
opening preview. Liquor, appetizers, pizza, everything was free. But it was the
server who had captivated Todd. Slim and pretty with startlingly clear blue
eyes, Morgéne was fun and engaging, and seemed genuinely interested in him and his
writing. By the end of his visit to Genoa’s Pizza, Todd had lost all of his
typical shyness, leaving her his card and phone number.
Returning from his daily mocha and
morning paper at Starbucks, Todd spied the recently started story lying
forgotten on the coffee table. Flipping open his phone, he dialed Morgéne’s
number. Nothing, there was no answer; not even a chance to leave a message. “Probably
working,” he muttered. Settling into the desk chair he started to type.
by Todd Wheeler
“I thought you didn’t care for deep
dish pizza, David?”
“I guess I’m getting used to it or
something. Or maybe it’s just the company. You know what they say about good
food and good company.”
Morgéne shook her head and laughed;
strands of black hair curling seductively around her long sensual neck. “Yeah,
right, no more Cactus Flower Margaritas for you! I’m cutting you off.”
“Actually, I came in for the thin crust meat
lovers.” Despite himself, David’s face flushed the color of the waitress’s
lipstick. “Ok, I did come in just to see you. If that’s ok; I mean I wouldn’t
want to step on anybody’s feet or anything.”
“You’re too cute, you know that? No,
you’re fine, no one’s feet to step on.”
David’s sigh of relief was obvious. “Hey,
I’ve been meaning to ask. Why don’t you have a desert menu?”
“No desert here, well not as such.” Morgéne
reached for the squeeze bottle of honey sitting on the table. “Instead, we
recommend you save your pizza crust and cover it with honey.” She could read
the doubt on his face. “Try it… you never know.”
“Honey glazed pizza bones… I don’t
know. I think I’ll just stick with Full Tilt.”
David’s eyes flashed with amazement.
“You’re not familiar with Full Tilt? It’s only just the best ice cream in the
world. Strange and wonderful flavors, and just around the corner, up on Leary.
You’ve got to let me take you.”
“Now that sounds good.” Replacing
the honey dispenser, Morgéne turned to leave. “And I’ll take you up on that
Reading the computer screen, Todd
shrugged his shoulders, “Eehh… not bad, I’ll punch it up later.” Frustrated, he
found himself wandering along Ballard Avenue. Walking the streets often cleared
his head, feeding his imagination with ideas. The ear buds muted the city
sounds while the tiny MP-3 player kept him company.
hair and ruby lips/
Sparks fly from her fingertips/
Echoed voices in the night/
She’s a restless spirit on an endless flight/
His stride keeping unconscious beat
to the classic Eagles tune, Todd soon found himself standing in front of Genoa’s
Pizza. “Well, I guess I am hungry…”
“Hey, welcome back. I was wondering
when I was going to see you again.” Morgéne’s smile brightened Todd’s day.
“Well, I did try to call…”
“I’m sorry. We’re not allowed to
have cell phones on the floor. I have a bad habit of turning mine off and then
forgetting to turn it back on.”
The cute pout was most effective.
“And I’m not real good at remembering to return calls, either.”
“It’s ok; I’ll forgive you.” Uncertain
of how or even why he’d come to the pizza shop, nevertheless, Todd realized he
was glad to be there. “I guess I’ll have…”
“Side Caesar salad… no anchovies,” Morgéne
cut in, “a large meat thin crust, and iced tea… with sweetener. Or would you
prefer a drink?”
“Wow, how did you know that?” Todd
asked with some uncertainty.
Morgéne raised one finely arched
eyebrow but didn’t answer.
“But this time, yes, make it a
Cactus Flower Margarita, please.”
“What’s the occasion? Sell another
“As a matter of fact I did; another
“Congrats! And I really am glad to
Todd’s grin grew. “How about you and
I do something later?”
She smiled coyly. “You know, I’ve
had a craving for ice cream all day; know any good places?”
“Full Tilt… best ice cream in
Seattle and just up around the corner.”
“Meet me just after nine.” With a
deliberate wink, Morgéne turned and headed off. “You know where,” she called
over her shoulder.
The feeling of déjà vu returned. It faded
with the margarita.
The late rendezvous went well. Hand
in hand they had wandered down to the 24th Avenue Pier. Over
mint-chocolate chip and butter pecan cones, Todd and Morgéne sat talking.
“I can’t believe you’ve never had a
waffle cone before… or butter pecan ice cream for that matter. Where have you been,
lost on the Isle of Apples or something?”
Eagerly licking at the rich treat, Morgéne
relaxed against Todd’s shoulder. “Oh, you know…”
“No, I don’t, please tell me; tell
me everything about you. Who are you? Where are you from?”
With a reflective smile, Morgéne
glanced skyward. “The moon… it’s beautiful, isn’t it? It’s waxing you know.
Soon it will be full.”
Studying her tender features, Todd
replied. “I know… Sunday, it will be full Sunday night. It’s actually at its
closest point to us right now. It’s called a Super Moon. It will be bigger and
brighter than ever. We should come back here then.”
Finishing the satisfying cone, Morgéne
sensually sucked at each of her finger tips in turn. “Mmm, I’d like that. They
say mystical and magical things happen when the moon is full.” She lay back,
resting her head in Todd’s lap, staring up into the satin night. “I love the
moon. It always revitalizes me, makes me feel energized; restores my powers. And
when it is this close…”
Hooking an arm around Todd’s neck, Morgéne
drew him down. The kiss was long, passionate and sensual, sending an electric
shiver throughout his body.
Todd woke up with a headache. No,
worse, it was a hangover. “Oh, God, my head…” He looked up at the smirking
clock. “Please, Felix, your tail, not so loud!” Managing to sit up, he rubbed
his red eyes. “What the hell was I drinking?” Todd tried to think. It made his
head hurt worse. “Wait, I didn’t drink last night… I had one margarita with
dinner, that was like at 6 PM and then later some ice cream… ice cream with Morgéne.”
Slowly it all began to return.
A cold shower helped. So did the
cranberry juice and the two cups of coffee. Returning to the bed, Todd ran over
the events of the previous night, culminating with the kiss. “That kiss…” the
electric shiver returned as he recalled their amazing kiss.
But Todd couldn’t remember anything
after Morgéne pulled him to her. He knew it was after ten, maybe ten thirty.
They had met at the bell tower, walked the short block to Full Tilt Ice Cream,
purchased cones, played a round of pinball, and then strolled to the nearby
pier where they sat and chatted.
“And then…” Nothing, try as he may Todd
couldn’t remember anything further beyond kissing Morgéne in the moonlight.
He’d returned to his small studio apartment and crawled into the sofa bed. As
he closed his eyes, Felix had simpered down at him: 1:32 AM.
The headache was starting to return.
The more he tried to figure things out, the worse it got. Surrendering to the
pain, Todd gave up, lying back across the open bed. In seconds he was fast
A bulbous moon beamed a mellow shaft
of light through the open window, stirring Todd from a fitful sleep. He glanced
around the darken apartment, “Damn, did I sleep the entire day?” Slowly he sat
up, “Well, at least my headache is gone.” Pulling himself up, he headed for the
bathroom. A splash of cold water and the writer was back to feeling normal.
“That’s odd…” Pouring a glass of
iced tea, Todd noticed the computer screen. “I never leave my laptop turned
on.” Sipping the cool beverage, the writer settled into his desk chair and
began to read.
The moon was so big it seemed as if you could reach out
and touch it. It hung low on the horizon, its yellow glow obscuring the stars,
leaving the sky a soft velvety black shroud. Hand in hand, Morgéne and David
strolled down the extended pier. Morgéne was lovely as ever in a simple black
wrap dress, her dark hair hanging loose. As they reached the end of the
deserted dock she turned, pulling him close.
The kiss seemed to last forever; and not long enough. It
left David breathless. Taking a step back, Morgéne pulled at the single draw
string. In one easy motion the dress slipped from her shoulders to the wooden
deck. Morgéne stood naked, moonlight quietly caressing her soft tanned body. David
watched with wonder as his beautiful companion closed her eyes, stretching out
her arms as if surrendering herself to the night.
“You’ve got to be kidding me!” Leaning
closer, Todd re-read the words that filled his screen. For a moment he
considered printing the offending prose just so he could tear it to shreds. “Dang,
I must be losing it or something,” he said aloud, shaking his head in
disbelief, “this sucks.”
His finger hovered over the delete
A second later Todd’s phone rang.
It was Morgéne.
Sunday night. Morgéne paced nervously
beneath the bell tower. As Todd approached she hurried towards him, grabbing
his hand. “C’mon,” she called, tugging at his arm. “It’s already after nine.”
“Hello, nice to see you.”
Pausing just long enough to graze
his cheek with a kiss, Morgéne turned, pulling Todd down the street. “Yeah,
yeah, it’s great to see you, too. I had this annoying couple who just wouldn’t
leave. I told my boss not to give me anyone after eight o’ clock but we got
busy. Luckily, Sue agreed to cover for me.”
Minutes later the couple stood at
the edge of the 24th Avenue Pier. The night was dead silent. Salmon
Bay lay becalmed; the air at rest. The swollen moon rode high on the horizon,
floating in an inky sky devoid of stars. Todd felt Morgéne’s grasp tighten.
“Oh, my God, it’s so beautiful,” she whispered in quiet reverence. Turning to Todd,
she pulled him close and their lips met. The piercing kiss lingered as the
clinging couple slowly melted to the welcoming wooden surface. Finally breaking
from the intimate caress, Morgéne lay back across the cool planks. Her bright
sapphire eyes set on the smiling moon, she pulled at the single draw string. The
simple black dress fell open.
Todd’s breath left him. She was
beautiful, even more beautiful then he’d imagined. She lay naked, perfectly
motionless; her firm round breasts barely rising with each protracted breath. The
moon’s tender light cast a radiating shimmer across Morgéne’s tan skin. Her
incredible body seemed to glow in the still August night.
Todd studied the stunning woman,
committing to memory every sensual curve, each subtle detail. He was in love.
He was sure of it. The moment he’d looked up from the table at the restaurant
and into Morgéne’s haunting eyes he was hers. Maybe she’d cast some sort of
spell over him.
He didn’t care.
Moving to her side, Todd ran an arm
around Morgéne’s slender waist, pressing his lips to hers.
“No,” she said softly. Her eyes
still fix on the slowly rising moon, Morgéne pushed Todd aside. “Not yet.”
Todd awoke to the sound of the
shower running in the bathroom. Rubbing sleep from his eyes, he placed a hand
to the pillow next to him. It was still warm. He smiled, “Much better than
waking up with a hangover!”
Rising, he made his way to the
kitchen, setting water to boil in the red tea kettle for coffee. Once again he
noticed his laptop. “I’ve got to start remembering to switch this thing off,”
he muttered, reaching for the power switch.
Slowly Todd read:
The moon was so big it seemed as if you could reach out
and touch it. It hung low…
By the time he finished the passage
cold chills danced on his spine.
He re-read it a second time. Then
something occurred to him. Scrolling up to the top of the page, Todd read
“Hey… hi, it’s me, Morgéne.”
“Hey, how are you doing? I was wondering if you were
going to call.”
“You were, were you… didn’t trust me?”
“Well, let’s just say it wouldn’t be the first time a
pretty lady had changed her mind about me.”
“Oh, no… no, it’s nothing like that. I am so, so sorry…
we were swamped; I had to work, and…”
The stunned writer let out a long,
low whistle, “This is crazy…”
Scrolling down a bit Todd continued
A minute later he understood.
“I type it and it comes true… our
first meeting; the pizza place; her call and my rubbing her feet; the pier…”
Images of Morgéne lying naked in the moonlight on the 24th Avenue
Pier flooded his brain. Todd smiled, brought up a blank sheet on the laptop and
started to type.
by Todd Wheeler
David heard the shower stop. An
instant later the bathroom door opened. Beads of water glistened on Morgéne’s tight
naked body as she slowly approached. Without a word she lowered to a kneeling
position, taking her place between David’s legs as he closed his eyes and relaxed
back in the desk chair.
Todd read over the words he’d just
typed. Swiveling the desk chair, he faced the bathroom door and waited. Several
long minutes later he heard the shower stop.
His smile grew.
The bathroom door opened.
Morgéne appeared wearing his old tattered
bath robe, a towel wrapped loosely around her hair. Humming to herself, she
entered the kitchen and began to fix a cup of coffee. Surprised, Todd swung
around and considered the words he’d just typed.
What was wrong?
Did he miss something?
It had always worked before.
Studying the screen, Todd felt a
hand on his shoulder. Slowly he was turned in his chair. Morgéne smiled down at
him. Leisurely sinking to her knees, she took her place between Todd’s legs.
He sighed and relaxed back.
Morgéne moved close.
Opening his eyes, Todd found himself
staring into Morgéne’s stunning blue orbs. They were bright, clear, the color
of a cloudless morning sky.
But something was wrong; different.
Morgéne’s pupils reflected back perfect
images of the full yellow Super Moon.
She leaned closer. “And you thought
you were the one in control… didn’t you, David?”