Murder Mystery Weekend – Chapter 12

Ben made his grand entrance down the stairs. I don’t know where he got his costume, but it wasn’t from the Lido. Ben was dressed like … Assassin’s Creed. White hood, extra long black leather vest, with a black leather crossbelt. He had a long white shirt, with blue trim, wrist guards, and high leather boots. OK – I admit it – he looked pretty cool. But Assassin’s Creed? Really?

Eliza and Sheila came down together. I had already seen Ee’s costume, but I was certainly not tired of looking at it. Sheila, though, had gotten quite creative. She had a black kerchief on her head, and long dark hair hanging down to her waist. It was a wig! She also had a white lace shirt that left her shoulders bare, a lace-up corset, and a burgundy-coloured skirt down to her ankles. She had a petticoat, too, but it was transparent. When she lifted her skirts, you could see quite a bit of leg over the top of her high-heeled, lace-up boots. Add to that a black velvet choker … and Sheila looked pretty good.

– “Fantastic.” I told her. “You look sexy and dangerous at the same time.”

– “Good.” she said. “That’s kind of what I was hoping for.”

– “Love the wig, too.” I added.

– “You would.”

Leo finally came down, in his Jack Sparrow costume. He got a round of applause. I had to laugh – he had added the eye makeup.

Then Teresa came out, and she got applause, too. My ex was very, very smart: she didn’t try to upstage any of the players. Her costume was deliberately less sexy than any of the others. She had a tricorne hat, and a really cute dress that looked like a gentleman’s long coat, except that it ended in a skirt. It was burgundy color, with wide black lapels and large brass buttons down the front. Her white shirt was buttoned at the neck, so that she showed no cleavage whatsoever. The shirt had wide, elaborate lace cuffs. The skirt reached to her knees, but high boots and a thick, frilly petticoat meant that she was showing only a couple of inches of skin. For a final touch, she had a replica pistol tucked into a broad black belt.

Compared to Claire and the others, Teresa’s costume made her look like a pirate Mother Superior. She was attractive and authoritative, without the blatant, outrageous sexuality of the others. It suited her, somehow, as if she truly belonged in another century. Understated, yet effective.

– “Very, very impressive.” I told her.

– “Thank you.” she said, with her classic half-smile. “Are we all here?” she asked.

– “Everyone except Barbara.” said Eliza.

– “Ah. Well, then – everybody should make sure that they have a fresh drink.” said Teresa.

Barbara was last, of course. No one was surprised. She got to make her grand entrance. And she still managed to exceed our expectations.

Barbara wore a long coat – yes, burgundy-colored. What was it with that colour for pirate costumes? The wide lapels were black, and the lining of her coat featured a swirling pattern of black and gold. She had a white shirt with cuffs like Teresa’s, but the resemblance ended there; Barbara’s neckline was scandalously low, showing an insane amount of cleavage. I wanted to get a ruler or a tape measure and stick my hands in there.

She had a tight little corset lifting and supporting her large boobs, and a gold chain around her neck. There may have been a pendant attached, but I couldn’t see one, as it disappeared into the enormous crevasse between her tits. Her belt had a large, ornate brass buckle. Her legs were snugly sheathed in black tights, tucked into knee-high black high-heeled boots. On top, she had a wide-brimmed black felt hat with a fake ostrich feather.

And would you believe it: she was wearing an eye patch.

Barbara must have spent hours combing all of the costume shops to find the most outrageously sexy components they had. She also wore makeup to match – lots and lots around her eyes. She came down the stairs, slowly, and struck a pose.

I would have bet a sizeable fortune that every guy there was hard as a rock. It wasn’t just Barbara – though she could have cause a riot in a monastery – it was the combined effect of six very attractive women dressed to match a variety of male fantasies.


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Kimiko – Chapter 5 – Text to Fix

After my wonderful first date with the lovely Kimiko, I really wanted to see her again. I was going to try to set something up for a lunch this week. I also sent her a link to this great documentary about the Asian Bank, “Abacus: Small Enough Too Jail.” (If you’ve been following this blog you’ll know that I saw that film in the theater with Ambria.)

I’m texting her.

“Thank you! I’m still at work! How are you?”

“I’m at the salon working too! I’ve been thinking about our fun date last night!”

“Another busy day, right?

“Not too busy here tonight. Rain is keeping people away.”

“Yea…Wholefoods too.”



“Would you still be up for lunch on Thursday?”

“Hey, I’m done work now. Thursday I have a doctor’s appointment at 2pm. What time is good for you?”

“Shall we do 11 or 11:30? What works best for you?”

“My doctor’s office is in Moorestown. Quite far away from the city. You have to work Thursday?

“3 to 8pm. Looking at a property at 10am.”


“Weekend better for you?”

“I guess so.”

“Aww! Saturday after 5 or Sunday after 4pm? Movies? Or I could do a Zip Car and come to Jersey. Or I could hop on Patco and we could dine in Haddonfield or Collingswood.”

“Great! We can talk later.”


The week passes and so does the weekend. I don’t hear from her at all. I really like Kimiko and want to hang out with her again. (And kiss her again!) My schedule just really sucks right now.  I decide to make another attempt.


“Hi Kimiko. Have you lost interest?”

“You didn’t text me last week?!”

“I wanted to after I came up with a few solutions on how we could meet and I didn’t hear from you for the weekend. Maybe it was a misunderstanding.”

“You know what, it’s a misunderstanding, because I didn’t hear from you again, I thought you went on another date.”

“No. Like I said I have been working a lot lately. I like you and I thought our first date went really well.”

“Thank you. Yea, I had a good time too.”

“So you’re still interested in getting to know me and you’d like to go out again.”



“Things have been busy getting this business off the ground. But I want to stay in touch with you and find ways to spend time with you whenever we can!”

“Yes! Sounds good! Because this weekend I’m going to New York for a baby shower.”

“Sounds good. I’m so glad we chatted tonight. I feel so much better and I hope you do too, Kimiko.”

“Indeed. You know sometimes online dating just ends for no reason.”

“I guess, but I think we have a good connection.”


“Awesome. “Well have fun at the shower up in New York. We’ll chat again soon!”


“Thank you, Kimiko.”

So I’ll leave it there for now. Hopefully once I get through the next week, I should have some free time to see her. I don’t want her to get away, but I fear that if I wait too long she will.



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Racquel Writes! – 26 Questions

via 26 Questions



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Bad Habits Can Make You Look Older


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5 Basic Safety Tips For Women


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Shara – Moonless River – Part 1

One of my favorite tales!

I’ll just admit it: I looked at her pictures first.

I did that with everyone. I looked at their pictures first and then, with my immediate physical interest either whetted or withered, go back and read their profile. If I found their profile suitably charming or at the very least cogent, I would craft a brief introduction relevant to their interests that established common ground, ask a question or two, and end it, nearly always, with some variation of: “You seem interesting and I think we’d get along well. Let me know if you’d like to see if that’s the case sometime.”

Sometimes they did want to see if that was the case. And sometimes it was the case, and sometimes it was wasn’t, and sometimes it so very much wasn’t that I’d begin to imagine while the date was still in progress how I would retell the story later that night in a bar to my friends. By the summer of 2015 I’d been split from my girlfriend (See: Annabelle – Nice to Meet You) for over a year and a half and was largely finished with the sudden solitude induced frenzy of fear driven dating that I’d forced myself to endure immediately following my newfound status as a single adult male. Also, for almost a year I’d been in an on-again off-again on-again relationship with someone who I cared for but knew without a doubt would eventually be off-again and never, ever on-again.

Which is, in part, why I continued regularly meeting new people, not in search of someone better, but of everything better… better friends, better talks, better laughs, better misunderstandings, better in-jokes, better love, better life. Around that time I often claimed that I didn’t want to be a part of any relationship that precluded any other relationship, which I do still believe to some degree, as far as that goes. No one can be everyone else for another person, nor should they be expected to try. But there’s always that one person that no one else can ever be for you, and I had yet to meet that person.

I was hopeful.

As I said, I looked at her pictures first. I can still recall the dark-haired, doll eyed, almond skinned beauty in each of those first images. Here she is, petite as a teenager, standing in front of a graffiti wall, her hips at an awkward cant. And here, in a black summer dress with white polka dots, holding two dogs, her smile the brightest thing in the photo. And this one, her hand smashed against her face, soft nose and lips squishing out between small fingers, almost daring me to find her attractive. And finally, there’s that smile again as she strums a guitar, her downward glancing eyes forming the bold semi-circles of a particularly adorable Sanrio character.

Her online dating profile mirrored mine in the fact that they both tread a delicate path between witty condescension, feigned disinterest, and actual, useful information. Her intelligence was immediately apparent, as were her pop culture, gourmet, and internet meme credentials, but if I had to choose one reason for contacting her, I would have to say it was simply that I recognized a familiar voice (echo?) behind all of it, a voice I liked tremendously, and I suddenly wanted to hear what else it had to say.

Eventually I sent the girl a message that detailed my interest in cooking large meals from scratch and my love/hate relationship with food poisoning, which were both topics mentioned in her profile. Later that day she replied, and for the next several hours we volleyed messages back and forth until phone numbers had been swapped and plans had been made for the following evening. Our initial exchanges were playfully guarded, like two unfamiliar boxers dancing around each other, neither very interested in being the first to connect or be connected with.

The following day I worked and then met friends for drinks at a much buzzed about bar that had opened only a week before. Unexpectedly, my ex-girlfriend had also been invited, and so we chatted cooly with each other while sipping cocktails with names like “The Coltrane”, “Joe McCarthy’s Ghost”, and “The Chimney Sweep.” “The Chimney Sweep” was a eye-watering concoction of scotch, ouzo, vermouth and bitters, and it was the last thing I drank before saying goodbye to everyone (“What, no hug?”) and began my journey up Ben Franklin Parkway. It didn’t hit me until I was riding just how drunk I’d managed to get myself in such short a time. This did not bode well for the date to come, which I had been allowing myself to feel cautiously optimistic about. My biggest concern at the moment was that she’d ask me if I was drunk, because I most certainly was.

We’d agreed to meet at a small hipster bar in Fairmount that neither of us had ever been to. Earlier in the day the battery of my phone had died, so I hoped my date wouldn’t try to call and reschedule with a voicemail I’d never receive. I walked inside and found a spot at the bar. Then I went into the bathroom to splash some water on my face and squint at myself in the mirror. My disappointed reflection shook its head derisively before sighing and shrugging its shoulders. As I walked out of the bathroom back to my seat, she walked through the door and identified me immediately. We then shook hands efficiently, our arms as stiff and fully extended as soldiers at attention.

She wore a white tank top, jeans, and a pair of black Chuck Taylors faded to gray. Her inky hair was pulled into a ponytail, and her large eyes were boldly outlined with makeup. A long, well structured nose hovered above a full pair of cupid’s-bow lips. But the most striking thing about her face was the uncommonly potent mixture of youth and world-weariness that it possessed. She was pretty and petite, but seemed both aware of this and tired of it being mentioned, so I didn’t.

I don’t recall what introductory pleasantries were exchanged, but within seconds of arriving she eyed me suspiciously and then asked if I was drunk. “No,” I lied, “but you’re going to have to play a little catch up.” This turned out not to be an issue for her. A round of gin and tonics were ordered and downed, followed by a second round that we consumed with equal ease. I remember liking that she drank to drink.

My plan, pre-happy hour overindulgence, was to meet her at the bar, chat for a while, maybe walk around the neighborhood, and then go to a nearby house show where a band that I wanted to see was playing. It was still very early when we stepped out of the bar and back onto 21st Street, which was glowing warmly in the fading sunset. We briefly debated ducking into another bar, but then she made this suggestion: “So, I’m not trying to be too forward or anything, but my roommate has a bunch of liquor we can have and I live really close by, so do you want to just go there?”

Yes. Yes I did.


Tune in tomorrow for the conclusion!


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What To Do When You Like A Girl With A Boyfriend


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