It all started when Marie Ann Bailey, at 1WriteWay, agreed to allow D to interview her. He somehow got it into his head that one of her characters, Mary, was a suitable focus for his attention. After much begging–
A: Sorry. After much pleading–
A: Fine. After subtly insinuating that perhaps he could entertain the lady for an evening, Marie and I granted D and Mary a chance to get outside our heads for a date. This is what happens. . .
A Date with the Druid, Part 1
Mary stood in front of the dark wooden door. The glass inset was opaque and tinted green so she couldn’t see through to the interior of the pub. She took a deep breath, pulled her mirror out of her Louis Vuitton knock-off wallet purse, and took one last look at herself. The streetlamp behind her set a halo about her short salt-and-pepper hair. Her face was in shadow. She sighed.
“Well, I promised her one date,” she muttered to herself as she clasped the door handle. “One date … with a Druid.” Mary pulled at the door, releasing heat scented with body odor and beer. She wrinkled her nose and walked in.
The pub was lively, with nearly every round table filled with people eating, drinking and talking, seemingly all at once. The bar before her was lined with every manner of backs and butts. Most of those at the bar were focused on the soccer game playing out on a telly stuck high up in a corner. The hazy yellow light of the dirty overhead lamps cast everyone and everything in a dull glow. It seemed that no one had noticed her walking in, and yet she felt eyes on her.
Off to her left, there was a sense of someone watching. She turned and there, in a corner, sitting alone but for a bouquet of red and white roses and a pint of dark ale, was he. The Druid. The … man … that Mary had agreed to meet. He stood up as Mary approached the table. Oh my, she thought, he’s taller than I imagined.
His hair was long and dark and, to her relief, he wore clothes, a long dark coat and pants. Mary had only seen the drawing of the Druid on The D/A Dialogues and had been anxious that he would show up dressed, or undressed rather, pretty much as he was in the drawing. The Druid looked down at Mary and smiled, his dark eyes peering into her blue. Mary felt her knees ready to buckle.
“Hi! You must be D!” Mary knew her voice was a bit too loud as she thrust her hand out in front of her.
The Druid’s smile deepened. He took her hand but instead of shaking it, as he knew Mary expected him to, he gently turned it and kissed the top. Her skin was cool, no doubt from the chilly night air outside the pub, but his lips were warm. Mary shivered slightly with the kiss and firmly but slowly withdrew her hand.
D pulled a chair out for her and, with a slight nervous laugh, Mary sat down. God, I’m acting like a schoolgirl, she thought as the Druid took a seat to her right.
“What would you have to drink, my lady?” He still had that all-knowing smile, as if he could read her thoughts. Mary started to feel annoyed. She was in love with Randy. No Druid, no matter how tall, dark and well-muscled, could interfere with that. Not to mention that he was much too old for her, several centuries too old.
“A glass of Chardonnay, thank you.” She smiled back at him, revealing her perfect white teeth. The Druid snapped his fingers, ordered another pint for himself, the Chardonnay for Mary when the server came. Then he leaned in.
“I’ve heard so much about you. You are more beautiful than my imagination allowed. You remind me of a wench … I mean, a woman I knew, oh, a couple of centuries ago. She was feisty, very independent. But she could not resist me.” He gave her a large smile, revealing his perfect white teeth. Mary bristled.
“Really, I … is that a compliment, somehow?”
“Oh, indeed, my good lady. Ah, here are our drinks.” He paused to attend to the bill, and Mary was relieved that he wasn’t running a tab. She didn’t want to have to deal with a drunk Druid.
“So how is it a compliment? I mean, really, we’ve only just met and yet you imply that I will not be able to resist you.”
The Druid leaned back in his chair, his dark woolen coat falling open, revealing his broad, toned, naked chest. Mary grabbed her Chardonnay and took a big gulp. I love Randy, I love Randy, she started chanting in her head.
“The only woman I know that has so far resisted me is A, and I believe that’s simply because I live in her head. One cannot have an affair with a figment of one’s imagination. However …” The Druid leaned forward and grabbed Mary’s hand. “However, since we are both figments of imagination …”
Mary pulled her hand away so abruptly that she almost knocked her wine over.
“Nevertheless,” she said as she tried to steady her breathing. “I am in love with someone. I am not about to cheat on him.”
The Druid picked up the bouquet of roses and held them out to her. “Has your lover ever given you flowers as beautiful as these? Has his lips burned a kiss onto your hand, as I have. Oh, yes, dear lady, I felt you shiver with that kiss.”
Mary took another gulp of wine. She was going to have to have a long talk with 1WriteWay, her author. She studied her glass, wondering why it was empty so quickly and, more importantly, how to extricate herself from this large, overbearing, egotistical hunk of a man.
Will Mary yield to the … charms (?) of the Druid? Will the Druid find him with wilted roses and a glass of Chardonnay thrown in his face? Will either character ever speak to their authors again? Let us know what you think, dear Reader. Where should this story go?