An Erotic Tale at Horror Castle
(Abridge Version Number 1.0)
Victor Edward Swanson,
The Hologlobe Press
Postal Box 5263
Cheboygan, Michigan 49721
Copyright c. 2010
This document is the Internet-friendly version of An Erotic Tale at Horror Castle. It is fiction that is designed for adults, but it is not "adult material." The information related to Barack Obama and associates contained within this document is fact. So, really, what you have is fact wrapped up in a fictional story. Most of the persons mentioned in this work are fictional and not based on any real person. The version presented in not the complete work, which is not available on the Internet. This document may be passed along by you, but I--the author--do hold the copyright rights and any type of unauthorized use is not allowed.
An Erotic Tale at Horror Castle
The often quiet man stood once again on the deserted beach, looking out over the water that could be seen of this Great Lake, and many miles out in the distance and not within sight was Canada and many miles to the north was a portion of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the only parts of which that could be seen were several broadcast towers, only visible once the sun was down for the day and if a person looked for them with a set of binoculars. It was rare when this man, now in his forties and widower for nearly three years, saw people out of the beach--about the best times to see any other persons were in July and early August and during the Labor Day holiday of September. Today, he was wondering how a blonde woman that he had seen in the spring for the first would look walking toward him from the north along the shore, and, in fact, he had been dreaming about her more and more each day, though it was only once that he had seen her, catching her out of the corner of his eye at a hardware store in town. Unbeknownst to the man, he was being observed from nearly a mile away by two elderly women who were working on a dress in what they called their sewing room on the second floor of their home, which was nearly concealed from view to people on the beach because of tall pine and oak trees. One of the women was sitting before the one sewing machine in the room, lighted well by the noon sunshine on this cloudless day. The sunshine made the red silk that she was working on seemed extra red and vibrant.
The woman asked, "Is he out there?"
The other woman was staring out the only window in the room, which happened to face the south. "Yes, Edith. Every dry day. Right on schedule."
"I still say that's weird. Maria, I tell you he's a creepy man."
"I'm beginning to believe. He did go crazy when his wife died. Look what he's done to that nice little cottage. It now looks like a Medieval castle, a place that Dracula would find homey."
"Be glad it's mostly hidden by trees."
Maria noticed he was heading back up the beach from the water, heading, probably she guessed, to the path between the trees that led to the two-story castle. "His name adds to it. Boris. Boris and his castle. Fitting."
Boris Slavin moved up the beach, which was slightly sloped up to the west, and with every step he took, he was higher up from the water level and heard slightly less of the waves hitting the shore, not that the waves were loud, unlike what they had been the previous evening when a rain storm passed over the area. The pathway between the trees was snaked and covered with old pine needles that he had placed there last fall after they had fallen over the parking area and the grounds around his castle. When he had gone about three-hundred paces, he reached the parking area and his te-year-old pickup old truck. Once Boris had set himself behind the steering wheel of the truck, he slammed the door shut--he was in a foul mood really, commonplace for him these days.
The biggest town was twenty-minutes away, if he ran slightly above the posted speed limit, and he did run slightly above the posted speed limit, not that he had to so that he would not miss picking up two packages that were waiting at the package-delivery business since the packages would not disappear, and it was not late in the day. It was evident that the fall color season would soon be in full bloom. Like every year, only about half of the trees could ever show color, since half of the trees were spruces and pines. As usual, the traffic was light, and while heading to town, he only saw eight other vehicles on the road during the first two-thirds of the trip, and all of those were going in the opposite direction. If other vehicles were going in his direction, he could not see any, because the road was filled with many curves that mimicked the shoreline of the Great Lake. Soon there were fewer and fewer trees, and more houses could be seen off to the right and left along the route, and he soon came across a bar, a storage business, a tire store, and the town proper.
The package-delivery store was housed in a building that appeared to Boris to have been built in the 1930s, if not earlier, and the ceiling inside was carpeted with the old tin squares. Boris regularly noticed old features, searching for features that he might adapt into something that he could use on his castle. The store was empty or had no customers at the counter.
"May I help you?" a woman--a seasoned citizen--said from behind the counter and while looking up from a catalog.
"Yes, you should have two packages for me. I missed the delivery person yesterday, and I got this card."
He pointed off to the left. "I bet those are them."
"I'm guessing--they're the right size."
Boris worried whether or not the materials contained within the boxes were safe and were what he had ordered, having ordered the materials through the Internet, something that Boris rarely had done, preferring to see and touch whatever might be bought before putting out any money. "Let me lift those, if those are the ones."
"They seem to be. They look somewhat heavy."
"Somewhat heavy, they are." The boxes had no name of a person or company on them, and that included the return address area, which was written not too clearly as if to hide evidence of where the two boxes had come. "They look okay."
"Did you have them insured? You should always insure packages of value."
"I agree." He put one box on top of the other and then lifted the two boxes by holding the bottom box.
"I'll get the door."
"Have a good day."
"You, too. Thanks much for your time."
The pickup truck had a topper, and he set the boxes down on the ground next to the truck to that he could life up the back window on the topper, open up the back gate, put the two boxes on the bed, and close the gate. He had brought the truck with the back unlocked, but now that he had his valuable items in the truck, he locked it. It was yet quite commonplace to not lock vehicles when in this town, especially the back windows of toppers or the back gates of pickup trucks--something that could not be done in a place like Detroit, a place he missed not in the least, though once a place he could almost call home, having lived in one of the suburbs of that dead city for a couple decades.
Down the street, there was all of a sudden the sound of a car alarm. He stretched up to look, and it seemed a man had hit the wrong button on the car remote. The man seemed alarmed by the noise and even embarrassed as he shut the blaring sound off by giving the remote another click.
And down the street was an electric-supply store, a store that mostly sold home wiring and such to contractors, and, in essence, he was a contractor--a general contractor--by being in charge of what work was being done on this castle, most of which was being done by him--from running water pipe to running wire. He could have walked to the electric-supply store, but he drove, and when he pulled up, he saw familiar faces behind the counter. The place was a two-man-operate business, but the two guys did have a secretary/accountant to help out, and since it was a fairly warm day--though not a hot day--the aluminum/glass door was propped open with a chair.
"Hello, Bo," a heavy-set man said. He was sitting on a stool, and he was swiveling back and forth a bit, something like what a little boy might do at an old-time restaurant when sitting at the counter.
"What's it today?"
"Control wire. Twenty-four gauge. Two conductors. And let me have a hundred and fifty feet."
Troy stood up, and it looked as if he had not since he was short man. "So when do you plan to open? Is it coming along?"
"It's coming along. I think I'll open on schedule. I had better. I've already placed ads."
"In this economy, it could be hard to get people to a new bed-and-breakfast up here. People don't seem to have the extra money."
"I'm aware of that. Thanks to the communists and Barack Obama. Such a piece of crap he is. But I'm gambling on the idea that I've got something completely different, and I'll interest enough people."
From the back room, Troy sort of yelled, "When are you going to give me a clue to what you're doing? What's the gimmick? What's the draw?"
Boris' voice was normally deep and strong, and he added little more power to somewhat yell back. "Secret stuff. Trademark secret stuff."
A scruffy and stocky man entered the shop at that moment, and Boris was well aware of him, and yet Boris spoke clearly and strongly. "That's why I run my Web site and keep updating it. People have to learn that the Democratic Party has been--at least since the early 1900s--a socialist-type party, and, today, it is really a communist party, and it always will be from now on in this world where it is, for the most part, the United States of America against most other nations in the political ideology battle. There are a lot of dumb people around who don't understand that. Communists are getting more and more of a hold in South America, for example. A world full of more and more communist countries each day is worse and worse for people. Really, it's ‘enslavism.' That's what I call it--'enslavism.' It's a few people who know nothing else and wish to be nothing else are gaining political power and control over others. They're creating ant societies. That's the way of enslavists and enslavers."
Troy placed a roll of wire on the counter. "This should do it."
Boris saw no reaction in the face of the man who had entered the shop moments previously. Whether or not the man was half listening to Boris while ordering was unclear to Boris. And if the man was perturbed by the topic of conversation, Boris thought--so be it.
After passing over a twenty-dollar bill, Boris grabbed the wire and waited for change. The change--coins and scrunched-up bills--he stuffed in his right front pocket. "See you whenever." He followed the scruffy and stocky man out of the building, and neither said a word to each other, but it was not as if they were friends or even acquaintances or are friends or even acquaintances. While the man headed right down the sidewalk to a rusty van, Boris looked for bumper stickers on the man's van, as he pushed his left hand into his left front pocket to get his keys and then placed the right key in the door lock, choosing not to use the remote. He saw no bumper stickers on the man's van, so he had no evidence about whether or not the man had voted for "hope and change."
Generally speaking, the town proper was the main street, a U.S. route. There were two banks down the road. Several locally run restaurants and several chain restaurants were visible from where Boris had parked. A photo shop was two buildings away. Other stores were a jewelry store, dress shops or clothing shops, a furniture store, and a post office.
One the road was clear enough of other vehicles, headed through the downtown area, his destination the grocery store, which was a little beyond the south end of downtown-proper, but the store was still within the town proper. It took five minutes to reach the grocery story, but if he had not been caught by one traffic light, he could have saved a minute. As he began to leave the truck, he noticed the van again, that rusty van from the electric-supply store, entering the parking lot, and the man in the van parked closer to the entrance than Boris had, finding a parking spot vacated only moments previously. While Boris was approaching the van, the man exited the van, his face as blank or maybe stern or, certainly, emotionless as Boris had seen it before.
Then, when Boris was passing the back of the van, the man yelled out, "It's good to hear someone putting down Obama in public."
"That's what I do," Boris responded upon stopping. "I know he's a piece of crap, and I tell it whenever I can. He likes to hurt people. I know it! I'm not a little boy who's going to keep quite about it." His attention was averted by a bit of motion to his right. There, off to the right, was a brown-skin woman, a rather strikingly erotic woman, who, he surmised, as about thirty years of age. "Look what he did to the bondholders related to the Chrysler bankruptcy in early 2009. Obama has used coercion on bankers, plumbers, retired gals--all types of investors. It was done on purpose!"
The woman walked somewhat close to Boris as she passed, seemingly not willing to give up any ground as she went on her way, and although their eyes met, no clear message was passed between them, but at least to him there was no angry look in her face, and as she passed, he became aware that she had a nice proportion, having a clearly defined waist and not being heavy in the buttocks, as often seemed to be the case with brown-skin women that he had seen around lately.
Boris made one more set of statements, "And it is all being done on purpose, and too many haven't figured it out. Bad times! Bad times are here!"
"You got it."
The two men said nothing more as they headed in to the grocery store and grabbed carts.
Today, Boris had planned to make a number of stops, and that was the way it had to be when a person lived about twenty-minutes driving time from the nearest town or city, and the trip had to be well planned, because if a person forget to get something--a little a nut or bolt--the person would have at the very least an hour trip. He dropped off two grocery bags of newspapers at the newspaper recycling station. Besides getting bread at the grocery story, he went to a small family run party store, where they made bread from scratch, and he picked up a loaf of rye bread. In the Detroit area, he could go to tool stores that supplied shops and little factories and even home owners, and there he could buy drill bits at much less cost than he could at any store in this town, since the town only had a hardware store, which had general-use items and did not sell in as much volume as a tool store might, and at the hardware store, he bought two small drill bits, and the price was about three times what it could have been if he had shopped at a tool store in the Detroit area. He made a short stop at one of the banks, and when his business was done, he took a complimentary pen, which had the logo and address of the bank, and he got it to use in the truck on a regular basis. Also, he stopped in at the publishing office for a country newspaper, which also distributed an advertising circular, which did not get delivered regularly to his mail box.
The truck was three shops down the street from the newspaper office, and on the trip along the sidewalk to the truck, he was glancing into the shops, and one was a restaurant, and when he glanced in, he saw the brown-skin woman again, and it was hard not to notice her, since the town, which had much colder and snowy winters than Detroit had, did not attract many brown-skin women as residents, and he was drawn to her by her looks. She was wearing a white blouse and brown slacks, which seemed to be the uniform for the waitresses of the restaurant, as he discovered by going inside and glancing around--for the first time ever. The place seemed to be a seat-yourself place, and the place had ten booths and about a half-dozen square tables, each with four chairs, which filled in the middle of the dining area. He saw only one other waitress, a woman who seemed to be about fifty years of age, and she came up to greet him.
"Table or booth?" she asked.
"A booth," he answered. Several booths and several tables were unoccupied. He could not determine which booth of the open booths would be one that might be covered by the brown-skin woman, so he could not specifically point to any particular booth.
"Over here. Would you like something to drink right away?" She placed a menu on the table.
"Decaf or regular?" He slid into one of the seats. "Regular's fine."
"I'll be your waitress. I'm Misty."
Showing no disappointment at having not ended up with the brown-skin woman, he said, "Okay." In essence, he chose to enter the restaurant to evaluate a woman. And he just wanted a better look at her, having not been able to really scan her when he was at the grocery store, and then he would be on his way, and the time spent would be a mild diversion.
The brown-skin woman came out to the dining area from the kitchen carrying a tray, and she did not notice Boris, but it was not as if she were expecting to see him or wanted to see him or was hoping to see him show up. Besides the slacks and blouse, which was rather tight fitting, she had a small apron, which held her tickets and some straws. She began placing dishes before two guests at a table in nearly the middle of the dining area. Her hair was wavy but not really curly, and it flowed down about five inches past her shoulders.
When Misty placed a cup with coffee before Boris, he said, "Thank you." He had not even begun to scan the menu. "Give me a few moments." He began to open the menu, while not looking at it.
"Okay. Take your time."
Boris did indeed take his time. The brown-skin woman was not necessarily pretty or beautiful to Boris but she was erotic looking, and he found himself staring at her, and it soon was more than that he saw. Since the woman's stacks were tight around her torso, he could easily see her muscles move. When she shifted her weight from the right leg to the left leg, he smiled
Imagining images of someone else can be embarrassing when it is done in public. A person who does the imagining can look as if the person were staring rudely. A person who does the imagining can give off clues to others of what is being imagined.
He turned attention away from her, though his mind was still focused on her. At first, for a few moments, he watched for people walking by on the sidewalk nearby and the sidewalk across the street, and no one was in sight. Second, he scanned the room a bit. Finally, he looked at the menu and quickly marked in his mind a sandwich.
Misty was watching him when he closed the menu, and the closing of the menu gave her the signal to approach, and he watched her come all the way from where she had been standing to him. She stated the obvious in a raspy voice, "I see you're ready."
"Yes. Just a cheeseburger and your fries."
"Regular or curly?"
Over the ten minutes, Boris did this and that. He continued to watch for people passing by. He without much concentration looked over the advertising flier that he had picked up down the street. Directly and indirectly, looking out the side of his eye, he targeted the woman with the brown skin. He drank the coffee slowly. When the cheeseburger and fries arrived, he ate them rather quickly, till he was about finished.
That was when there was a commotion at the door. Seven big guys, who appeared to be road-construction workers, entered. They were talking rather loudly about the preseason football game of the night before.
Misty greeted the men, and soon she was pulling two tables together to make one rectangular table. The men continued to talk all the while. Even while they were sitting themselves down, they were going on and on, almost as if they were paying not attention to what Misty was saying, a part of which was a question about whether they wanted coffee or something to drink right away.
Several minutes later, Boris had an empty plate before him, and he thought he should get a refill on the coffee at least, and over those several minutes, he had noted what the brown-skin woman was doing as much as he could, and he had only been obviously looking at her a couple times. Now, he sat quiet. Misty was devoting much of her time to the group of men. He folded up the advertisement, as he looked out the window once again and saw a woman pushing a baby carriage.
"More coffee?" askled a woman with a smooth voice.
Boris immediately turned his head and saw he was being served by the brown-skin woman. "Oh, yes."
"Misty told me to take over."
"Yes. I see she's busy."
"Regulars. It was her turn."
"So you get bumped?" She began pouring coffee into his empty cup. "It works out."
Boris caught a glimpse of the brown skin below her neck. "Good."
"Never been here. I don't often eat out. But, today, instead of making the drive home, for a late lunch, I thought I'd have a little something in town."
"Can I interest you in dessert? We have cherry pie today, and we have chocolate fudge cake. And you can have it with ice cream."
He thought moment, purposely stalling. "How ‘bout, how about the cake."
"All right." She took away the empty plate. "It'll be only a moment." And she walked away and soon placed the empty plate in a plastic tub near the doors to the kitchen and passed through the doors and disappeared.
Like a tactician, Boris made some calculations. What words could he use? What words would work a best in a delay tactic so that he could pass along hints, though not too obvious hints, about who he is and where he is or where he can be found?
When she returned with a small plate, on top of which was a very dark piece of chocolate cake and a clean fork, Boris noted, "I see your name is Karmel." His choice had been to put the accent on the first syllable.
"Yes and no. I pronounce it Carmel, with the emphasis on the last syllable."
"Oh, pardon me. It looked like Karmel, with the accent on the first syllable."
"Most people do that. It was my mother's idea. When I was born, she said I looked like a little plump carmel, but she always pronounced it as 'carmel,' and in the end, it came out as Karmel."
"Enjoy." She headed off.
Slowly, as if counting all the bits that made up the cake, Boris nibbled at the cake, and he sipped the coffee, but he did want to head back home to see if the equipment he had picked up would work and was not damaged. He felt it was not good idea to push a second refill on the coffee, since it would be like overstaying the welcome on a visit. So he finished what he had ordered.
He nodded a please-bring-the-check nod to Karmel when she exited the kitchen this time.
She quickly showed up at his side. "I hope everything was fine. You didn't have much."
"No, I didn't but it was fine. And anyway I should get back. I've got about a thirty-minute drive to my castle."
She looked puzzled.
"Maybe, you've heard about the bed-and-breakfast that looks sort of like a castle. I'm the one who's building it.
"Like a castle?"
"It's a mini-tourist attraction for some people. From time to time, people stop in, having heard about it."
"Oh, really?" She placed the check on the table. "You pay at the bar."
"It's down south of town on Cedartown Lane along the coast. If you pass by, you might think about seeing it. I'll give you a tour."
"Oh. Well. Um."
"No trouble." He began to rise. "Well, thank you."
Boris placed a twenty-percent tip on the table. If he were really trying to make a statement, he could have left a fifty-dollar tip or something way out of line. Really, all he did was what was standard for him--divide the amount of the check by five to get the amount of the tip.
The trip home was uneventful and even dull. More and more clouds cluttered the sky as he got closer and closer to home. No ships could be seen out on the Great Lake at the few open viewing spots.
Forty-minutes later, the trip made up of driving and unpacking finished, Boris finally had the two boxes before him on the main table in the dining room. Using a utility knife, he slit what packing tape he had to to open up the top of the box. The box was filled with popcorn--that packing material that can get all over, especially if there were even a little wind. He tried to carefully remove the popcorn, taking one handful at a time and dropping each handful in to a plastic trash bag. The item--the main item--that he searched for in the box was wrapped in a clear plastic bag. Before attempting to lift the item out the box, he nearly removed all the popcorn and removed several little packages. He set the item on the table and examined it carefully. It seemed undamaged. With the second box, he was just as careful to keep popcorn from ending up all over the desk and floor. The second main item was also wrapped in a plastic bag. It seemed undamaged. It was yet to be determined if the items worked or not.
"Well, that's that. Two lie detectors. I'm on my way." Almost as if he were emotionless, he stated, "Now, I only need some subjects for the test. Too bad. She would do fine. For me, she had all the right parts."
The focus over the next two weeks and a day was mostly on making sure new equipment to run the castle worked properly and would work consistently, and that meant he spent most of the time in control room and in the crawl space. Over much of the premises, there were Web cameras, and it was important that they worked, or his timing for events would be defective, and the planned events would be failures. Levers and solenoids had to be tested and adjusted to his specifications, and other new mechanical systems had to be set in place and concealed well. What was good was, since the 1980s, personal computer systems had gone through improvements from, for example, the 8088s to the latest, and to do what he wanted to do, passe system units and operating systems or somewhat passe computers could be gotten for almost no money and he could set up good backup systems easily and have a good supply of parts and boards on the shelves. In addition, with the change from analog television to digital television in the country, he was able to get television related equipment for almost no cost, and he could, for example, gut television sets to get parts, such as switches for his main control board, and parts from television sets and even radios and computers, especially system units, he grouped together according to what the parts were and placed them in little boxes or bags, which were labeled in permanent-marker ink.
Something passed one of his motion detectors, and Boris glanced over to the monitor that had a view of the entrance to the lane, and running down the lane was a small car, which he had not seen here before. Certainly, it was no delivery vehicle. What it had to be was someone who was curious to see his place, though it might be a potential thief.
He sprang up, wishing to get to the main door before the visitor. However, he did want to lock up the control room, and he did. No one else was allowed to visit this control room, or, no one was, at least, while he lived.
At the front door, a person would find no doorbell, but a person would find a heavy cast-iron knocker, and each time it would be used, it would send a heavy thud through much of the building. No one knocked. When he opened the front door, he could see the vehicle was beginning to pull away. Only when he was able to determine that the driver, who was alone, was a woman with brown skin did he rush passed the door so that he could stop her from leaving, if possible.
Fortunately for Boris, the woman did not pull away swift enough, and he was able to catch up to the vehicle and draw her attention by tapping on the driver's-side-door window. "Hello, hello. I'm home." It was indeed Karmel.
She lowered the window. "It didn't look like anybody was here. I just thought I'd see what the place was."
"Let me show you," he said, eager to give her a tour.
Karmel was reluctant to leave the safety--or relative safety--of her car, since she was far from home and out in the woods with a stranger, an unknown type of man.
"I'd hate to have you get away without seeing some of the inside. You're already here. Just leave the car here."
She turned the key to the off position without having raised the window first, so she had to turn the key one notch so that she could run the window up. When the door was coming out, Boris said, "I'm most pleased you stopped by." How much pleased he was he could not show or tell her. "I never expected you."
"Well, I was passing by, and I, I thought I'd at least see the outside and hope not to bother anybody."
Boris determined she was about five-inches shorter than he was. "So, what do you think?" In addition, her face showed no perpetual angry nature, which he was watching for, since any sign of it would immediately cancel her out, but looks can be deceiving, and a person must always be aware a smiling face can be a cover for an evil and dangerous mind, or, in this case, the face could be hiding a bitchy and self-centered persona.
"Like a castle, a small one."
"It's the impression that's important."
Karmel noticed he seemed to have not shaved today. "Um." She also noticed when he scratched the right side of his face, there was a bandaid on the index finger of his rigtht hand, and besides the bandaid, the finger was partially wrapped with masking tape, which was covering much of the bandaid.
"Come along." He led the way, not what he would have wanted to do. "Yes, impressions. But impressions can be deceiving."
In the late afternoon sunshine of this day, Karmel sort of envisioned the place as a spooky house and even a sinister house, where something unspeakable could go on. In addition, the fall wind was cool and strong, and it was creating fairly big waves on the big lake, and the sound of the waves was clear in her ears, and it reminded her of a stormy night. All that was missing was a flying bat.
Once they reached the front door, which was yet open, he said, "I just realized. You can call me Bo. It's short of Boris, and I don't think people get used to using the word ‘Boris.'"
"I'll use Bo."
"Basically, what you have here is a horror house or a house of horrors, if I've done my work well."
"You can find bed-and-breakfast places all over. They are cottages or lodges or turn-of-the-century rooms or period rooms. This is different." He lifted the knocker and let it fall against the striker plate, and it hit with a bang. "Just like in old movies." Bo stepped by the door and in to the foyer, a small space that had a room of sorts beyond it.
Karmel stood in the doorway. What could be seen of the interior was poorly lighted. While she followed Bo in, she thought the door seemed like something that was made a thousand years ago for a Medieval whatever. When she was in far enough so that the door would not hit her when it was closed, Bo closed the door. The door seemed to hit the stops hard when it stopped and closed. And it sounded as if a lock, which might take a special skeleton key to tdurn, snapped into place.
"On this floor," Bo said, while stepping by her. "On this floor, you have a study or library, a game room, a sitting/sewing room, dining room, a kitchen, and one bathroom. Off the bathroom is a wash room, which has a washer and dryer, some of the few modern-like appliances. On the second floor, there are bedrooms and two bathrooms. There's a garage at the back of the house, which I use. Part of it is a shop. Around the grounds are a fake grave yard with some headstones that I made out of cement and a pretend old-time outhouse." He took a breath. "That's the overview. Let me show you the main dining room."
Like a dancer, Karmel stepped off the foyer floor, which was like a raised landing, and found herself in a central room, which had a few old-looking chairs and a small table against one wall. What was hard to miss was the staircase to the second floor that she was facing, and the staircase seemed as if it had seen a lot of use, maybe over centuries, and if it had purposely been made that way, it looked natural. On the ceiling before the staircase was a chandelier, and it was dusty. The walls had light pods or something like pods. She had no name for them. Each was like a light bulb set behind a translucent glass leaf-like shield, and everyone looked old. Certainly, the place could use dusting. There was even dust on old portrait paintings that were mounted on several of the walls, which separated doors, all of which were shut.
The door to the dining room creaked as Bo pushed it open. "What do you think?"
Karmel did not step in, feeling as if she was not supposed to. "Um." The room had at least a heavy rectangular wooden table, on top of which were two candalabras, and a number of wood chairs, old paintings on the walls, and long dark drapes at the windows.
"I'm not going to show you all, since I'm yet doing some work in them--last-minute stuff." He closed the door. "There are other doors between the dining area and the small kitchen and pantry." They walked down a hallway toward the back of the house, on the right of which was the staircase, the underneath of which was walled off and seemed to be a storage area. "This is another entrance to the kitchen."
Across the hallway from the kitchen door were two steps the led down to a landing and a back door, which had no window and which looked to Karmel to be heavy and durable--something that could not be broken through, at least by her, a woman with not much strength when compared with a big man. "You even have worn old steps."
"Faked, of course. I used my big grinder to wear the centers down a bit to make it seem people had been using them for decades. There's no basement, by the way. There's only a crawl space." It seemed to Bo that she was giving signs that she did not want to stay along, and that feeling made him show her only a few things. He quickly led the way up the stairs. "Let me show you one of the rooms."
"Okay." She looked about and around as she headed up behind him. Instead of carpet, the second-floor floor, which was made of what seemed to be oak boards, was covered with rugs, but the floor was not completely covered with rugs, so she could see the boards, and they did not look like new boards or boards that were recently refinished and were bright.
Bo opened a door. "Here's one of the rooms."
"Cozy in a Gothic sort of way." She tossed her hair to get some of it out of her eyes. "Gothic or goth."
"Yes. It has all the comforts of 1889 or, maybe, 1867."
The remainder of the tour was down on the grounds. He pointed toward several weathered-looking statues. An iron gate gave entrance to the fake grave yard. Last, they walked the path, which was covered in old pine needles and old leaves, to the beach.
"Here," Bo said, "I can see guests watching the moon come up, such as a werewolf moon. Sometimes, it comes right out the water, and sometimes, it comes up out of the land over there. If the water is calm, you get a really pretty moonbeam."
They were standing in what could be called an alcove that was surrounded by trees on nearly three sides, so she could not see much to the south or the north. To see what was off in the distance to the north and to the south, she left the path and walked about thirty feet out. "Pretty."
"From where you are, you have about two-hundred feet to the water. Over the decades the water has come in and gone out. That's the way things are. What's nice about this alcove area is you have privacy or at our back and sides for the most part, so you don't get bothered by others down the beach. I'll mention this. It's a place where a person--if so inclined--could, could lie out in the sun in the nude. You have to watch for people passing by. But they're rarely a concern. You ever done any nude beach time?"
"Oh. I grew up in the city. Never had the chance."
"So that's the general place. What do you think? Think it will attract guests, customers?"
"Well, that's hard to say. It has possibilities. But I'm seeing it in the daytime. It's not necessarily scary in the daytime."
She started back for the path through the trees. "At the very least, it's different and not just another run-of-the-mill place. But I've never done a bed-and-breakfast."
"We did a couple for research. Really, though, this place is more than a bed-and-breakfast." He said dramatically, "Though if you make it alive through the night, you can have a continental breakfast in the morning." He gave her a smile, which she could not see because she was leading the way up the path. "We, I don't plan much more than that. There'll be evening snacks, I think. I don't have a liquor license, so I can't have liquor here . I don't want any drunks around anyway. They could get violent. I wouldn't be surprised if somebody brings some wine in sometime. I'll have to set some rules."
"Thank you for giving me the little tour."
Karmel opened the car door. "I hope it goes well.
"And I hope to see you again--maybe when you stop in for a better tour. I'll keep you posted on the progress from time to time, if I see you."
She slid into the seat. "Oh, okay."
The next day at eleven in the morning, Boris was on edge and on edge while standing just inside the doorway of the restaurant at which Karmel worked. There were words that the wanted to say, or there was a speech that he wanted to deliver. In him was an eagerness not felt in years.
It was Misty who greeted him. "Hello again. Table or booth?"
"Neither." I want to see Karmel."
"She's rather busy."
"It'll only take moment."
"You might have to wait."
The restaurant was busier than it had been when he was here yesterday. Then, Karmel exited the kitchen with two plates, one in each hand, and what was on them, he could not tell, but he did not care. She recognized him immediately, but she did not signal him in any way, such as by indicating a hello in some way.
However, she did seem to understand something was up, especially when Misty signal her to come over, and she placed the plates on the before a heavy-set man fit tightly in a booth and wasted no time walking over to Boris.
"What is it? We're at a busy time."
"We want to take you out."
Her face went blank.
"And want to see you on a date. Will you come? Something simply." He handed her a piece of paper. "Here are all the ways that you can get a hold of me."
"When you get off work, we'll set something up." It was as if he were commanding her. "I'll be home all day. The telephone would work best. I don't jump on the e-mail every other minute."
"Well, that's all. I'll let you get back to things. I've got things to do, too." He half turned to the door. "Take care. Bye tll later."
Karmel's response was said softly. "Bye." She watched him pass by the front windows toward the north till he disappeared.
This mid-October Saturday was going to be busy for Bo he thought as he lied in bed getting ready to get up. Whether the day would be productive or not remained to be seen . It would not be the rain falling now that would ruin the day, it was simply the events and how the events played out. The face of the clock sitting on the little table next to the bed indicated that it was eight-thirty. At ten, his friends would show up, and, maybe, in an hour they could finish up business and then take a trip over to the apple orchard. He was in no hurry to get up, since the equipment had been set up and tested last night, and all he had to do is turn on what had to be turned on, so he ran through in his mind what he hoped to capture.
The hands on the grandfather clock in the study showed ten-twelve when his friends arrived and knocked on the front door, and even though he had been well aware they were parking and walking up to the door, he had chosen not to open the door and greet them before they had used the knocker. To add some suspense, he walked casually and slowly to the front door. When he reached it, he unlocked it, and he thought surely they had heard that, and he ever so slowly pulled open the door.
"Dramatic," a man said. The man was Chris Linden, a big man, big enough to handle his large motorcycle, which because of the weather he had had to leave home, and standing next to him was his wife, Bridgette.
Bo exclaimed, "Welcome to my lair."
"Lookin' good. You've been practicing."
"A little." Upon seeing Bridgette, Bo was pleased. She was wearing a burgundy sweater, she looked quite sexy, and he was thought to himself that she had the right image and would give off the right sensuality. However, she was no cute woman. She and he were a match set of somewhat rugged looking people. "Come in out of the rain. Maybe, it's good that it's cloudy, since that cuts down on the sunlight." The two guests walked passed the door so that he could close it. "It's better to have it dark."
Chris noted, "Yes, we don't want to give the impression that it's high noon outside."
Bridgette was holding a small travel bag. "We've come all the way, and it would be a shame."
To Chris, the place looked about the same as it had when he was last here in the summer, but this room was only a general meeting place for the other rooms and the staircase. "And she's been practicing."
"And you then had to take matters into your own hands?" Bo asked.
Chris professed, "Look at her. Quite a handful."
Bridgette leaned against the staircase banister. "So, you think we'll be done in an hour."
"I hope so," Bo responded. "I do want to run through it a few times for blocking. Then we'll do it for real a few times to get the best results." Bo led the way up the staircase to a bedroom."
"You've added a few things," Bridgette said, while noting what was on a stand at the end of the hallway. It was a small statue of nude woman. "Inspiration?"
Bo answered, "I hope so."
The bedroom was not large and it was not well lighted. At best the room was ten feet by ten feet. Covering much of the middle of the room was a full-size bed with a canopy and a bed skirt, and it certainly looked as if were a bed that a woman would have adorned, and on top of the bed was warm-looking comforter with a flower design. The drapes were heavy-weight material and were closed.
Bo said, "I took no chances. To make sure we'd get no outside light, I covered the inside of the windows with cardboard."
Bridgette sat on the bed and bounced up and down a few times. "It's nice. Old European look."
"Spooky in the right circumstances," Chris noted while wiping his finger on the mirror attached to a small desk setting against one wall. "So you think this is gonna work?"
"I've tested it," Bo answered. "Behind that special mirror is a flat-panel monitor, and, of course, it's connected to a player in the control room."
"Ah, yes," Chris blurted out, "a mad scientist's secret lab!"
"In essence. I ran an old Barbara Steele DVD on it when I finally had it connected. I tested a couple different brightness levels, and I think I have it set. Of course, the problem is what we do here will probably not come out like he DVD, so I'll have to readjust it. That means I'll have to pull the desk back from the wall and push it back several times. Actually, I've put a backing on the mirror so when you look behind it without pulling the desk out, you can't see there's a monitor there. At least not easily."
On the desk were items that a woman would surely have in her room. There was a silver-like hand mirror. Several hair brushes were set up in a line. More than a dozen perfume bottles, which did to have colored liquid in them, were scattered about the top of the desk. And the desk had a porcelain pitcher and two jewelry boxes.
On the opposite side of the room was a camera on a tripod. Bo explained, "This seemed to be the best spot to set it up. Here, I can get a shot of much of the room, especially the desk, and we don't need to see the door."
Bridgette fell back on the bed.
"Comfy?" Chris asked.
"Yes," she answered, sounding like a girl. "I wouldn't mind spending my last night alive here."
"We'll see what we can do," said Bo. "Why don't you get dressed in your costume." To Chris, Bo said, "I've got your stuff here, piled up on the chair."
"Black cape?" Chris wondered.
"Of course. You did bring your special prop stuff?"
"She has them in the bag."
"Go get ready," Bo said to Bridgette. "You can use the master bedroom. It has a long mirror."
While Bridgette was getting off the bed and leaving the room, Chris lifted up the clothing from the chair, sat down, and placed the clothing on his lap. He figured there would be somewhat of a wait.
Bridgette closed the door to the master bedroom, which also seemed be from a time that was two-hundred years in the past. Although she had not said so, she was eager to take part in the little play that was about to be staged, and, in fact, it was an honor and something for Sharon, and, anyway, in exchange Bo was letting Chris and her be the free guests--once a year. She removed her tennis shoes and socks, pulled the sweater off over her head and placed it on the bed, and unsnapped and unzipped her pants and stepped out of them and place them on the bed. The travel bag was on the bed, and she opened it. Inside on top was a baby-blue nightgown. She lifted it up and hung it up before her eyes in the air. It seemed no worse for wear for having been in the bag for a few hours, and it looked unwrinkled. She stood before the mirror to dress. Once dressed, she examined herself in the mirror, though she had done so for a long time at home. Something did not seem right. It was not enough in her eyes. She fluffed up her long curly light-brown hair. "Hum." Bridgette unbuttoned one more button so that a little more of her upper chest would show. "Yes."
When she reached the room, Bo was talking. "I'm shooting in color. I can always kill the color in the copy that I use. In fact, I'll look at both a color version and a gray-scale version to see which is better. I expect the gray-scale version will be what I want, since it will look more like old movies of the 1930s. And I'll play with special effects to give it a grainy look."
"I'm ready," Bridgette announced.
Chris said, "You guys start the blocking. I'm gonna use the men's room." As he headed out of the room, hHe lightly slapped her buttocks.
"Why don't you set yourself up at the desk. Now that I think of it, maybe I should call it a dresser. I'm not up on furniture names. The way I have it planned is you'll be getting ready for bed. You could be combing your hair or brushing it. I have a pendant with a heart you'll have on. You'll take it off."
"I could put a dab of perfume down my neck."
"Well, we are trying to give the impression you're waiting for a guy and you're going to seduce him. So that will work. Then when you'll sense Chris come, but we won't see him at first. You'll turn and stare at him and become transfixed, as if hypnotized. He'll approach and come into the camera. We won't see his face. As if commanded, you'll stand up. Um, he'll take you by the shoulders and with one hand tilt your head back a bit."
"Then like a vampire, he's goes for your neck. And if I have the camera set up right, we'll see the blood thing--on the last take."
"I suppose this is the necklace." She lifted up a necklace from the desk. "It's not necessarily what I would wear."
"I know. It's a target, though. Something for the eye to aim at." It was not that a target was needed since a bit of her breasts were exposed. "Additionally. Oh, for this, we will use real candalabras with candles for the actual shoots. That will give us that fllickering effect. All the others around the place are electric, of course. Don't need any fires."
Bridgette began playing to the mirror, fluffing her hair and preening herself, while Bo stood around and listened for Chris' approaching, and within a minute, Chris showed up. "So, what have you mapped out?"
Bo got behind the camera. "We'll show you a rough run-through. It'll give me an idea if this location will work or if I have to shift a bit."
Chris slumped down in the chair and placed the clothing on his lap again.
Bo focused on the view. "Okay, go. Do your thing, Bridgette."
For a few moments, Bridgette sat motionless as if working up her character before going on stage.
"Oh, boy!" Bo exclaimed. "I just thought. We're going to have sound. So, Chris, during the shoot, you're going to have to be silent. Bridgette, you might think about humming something--some pretty nonsense--till you see the figure in the mirror. It can't be any tune someone will know."
Bridgette frowned. "Well, you've just made it tougher." Bridgette ran the sequence of events in her mind again and then said, "Ready." She took a lingering look at herself in the mirror, which included moving slightly closer to the mirror for a moment. As planned, she fluffed her hair. Then, she took off the necklace and placed in on the desk, and while she did, Bo shifted the camera a little to the right, not more than six inches. She took one of the glass perfume bottles, removed the stopper, covered the opening with the index finger of her right hand, and flipped the bottle over. While looking in the mirror, she ran the perfumed finger down her throat.
Bo said, "Pretend you sense someone. Good."
Bridgette stopped moving.
"Good. Turn this way."
She turned right about ninety degrees. "I think you'll have to do it more slowly next time." She then remained motionless.
Chris interrupted the scene. "I don't like it."
"What?" she said, while Bo looked around the camera at Chris.
"It's too fast."
"Too fast?" Bo said, wondering.
"We need more time to see her get ready. Maybe, some lipstick, put on really longingly. Have her powder her face. You need more feminine stuff. She's supposed to be a damsel about to be in distress."
"Granted," Bo noted. "But she's going to bed."
Chris was going to push the issue. "So. She's expecting to have a man show up, and she's trying to seduce him.. Give the scene more, more intriguing setup."
Bridgette stated, "I've got powder and lipstick here."
Bo thought. "But it's modern stuff."
"So," Chris noted. "If they're mostly hidden from view, who cares. She just holds ‘em so you can see much of them. It's impressions."
Bo asked, "Where are they?"
Bridgette said, "In the car, in my purse."
Several minutes later, Chris returned with Bridgette's purse, which was more like a small backpack, having straps. She searched around inside it. "These should do."
The scene sequence as it was blocked out so far was run through again. Before placing perfume down the neck, she pretended to put powder on her cheeks and covered her lips with lipstick. The sequence ended when she made the turn to the right to face her visitor, whoever it was.
"Better," Bo said, while coming out from behind the camera. " Now, Chris, let's have you run your part. You're supposed to show up. Stand about here." Chris got up from the chair and took up standing where he had been ordered Chris to stand. Bo went back behind the camera. "That's where you just come into the camera view. We got you from behind. Now walk toward Bridgette. Slow! Good. Okay, stop before her. Bridgette, keep looking up at him. Begin to rise. Need a blank stare as if hypnotized. Good." She was standing now. "Not good. Chris, you have to be over a few inches to the right."
"Hum?" He wondered why.
"Got to see her little better." Bo said once Chris had shifted over a few inches, "That's much better." He studied the scene. "Now, with your left hand, grasp the right shoulder. Ah, slowly kneed it. Good. Don't move. Just hold it firmly." Bo could see her face in the viewer, but he could not see Chris', and that is what it wanted. "Okay. Now, squeeze it. Make some sexy noise, Bridgette."
She did. "How's that?."
Bo commanded, "With your right hand, lift up her chin. Look at each other. Hold that pose. Now tilt the head to the right, Chris--her left. Eh. A little too stiff. Okay, now go in to bite the neck. And hold that bite."
While pretending to be sucking blood from Bridgette's neck, Chris mumbled, "How's this?"
Bridgette posed a question, "Should I go limp?"
Bo commanded, "Chris, hold on to her, so she doesn't fall." Bridgette went limp. "Cool!" Bo proclaimed.
"Now, what?" Chris wondered.
"Ah, well, you could sort of carry her over to the end of the bed or shuffle her over to the end of the bed and ease her down on her back." Chris started to tilt her body sideways to bring her over to the bed, and Bo continued to give directions. "Place her down. Carefully. Remember, you've captured a victim. Stare down at her. She's yours. She's your prize. Look like you're about to go in for the kill. And that's where the scene will fade out."
"I like it, " Bridgettte happily said.
"Well, it's only a rough. Now, we got to get Chris set up to show up in the scene and hit his mark right.. And when Chris is biting your neck, you should moan a long moan, Bridgette."
Over the next twenty minutes, the three worked out the way in which Chris would appear--for the viewer--and move over to Bridgette, while she was sitting on the stool for the desk. In fact, they ran through five practice runs. After one test, Bo shifted the camera again. By the fourth test, Chris had already put on his costume, and the fifth test was considered a success. On the sixth test, Bo shot the entire sequence so that they could look at the results for lighting and sound, and by the sixth test, Bridgette had turned her part into a several-minute erotic come-on.
"I think that is the best we'll do," Bo said, having to admit another test run would not gain much, and he had to admit to himself that they were no actors, so he could not get perfection, but he remembered the scene was better with people who looked like people that he could have as neighbors and looked natural.
Bridgette wondered, "Disappointed?"
"No. Bad choice of words. Let's do it."
For the real recording, Bo became more serious about every little movement and noise and sound. The first take was adequate, or that was what they all agreed by viewing the playback. In the second take, the way in which Chris moved Bridgette over to the bed was sloppy and clumsy, and that created a giggling fit in Bridgette, which last several minutes. The third take was considered a good take, given they were amateurs . The fourth take was abruptly stopped when Bridgette disliked the way in which she put on her lipstick. The fifth take was another worthwhile take. For the sixth take, they used a fake blood packet to make it seem that Chris was sucking blood from her neck, and blood showed when Chris pulled his head away so that he could carry her to the bed. They were able to clean the blood off Bridgette enough so that they could make a seventh take with blood, and the sixth and seventh takes were good enough to be the master take.
Chris said, "Let's do one more take. I want one that we can keep."
"Something different?" Bridgette asked.
"Slightly. You don't mind, do you, Bo?" "Well, I've got enough to work with. Okay."
Chris whispered in Bridgette's right ear. Bo clearly understood Chris was giving directions, none of which he could hear. Chris said aloud, "Understand?"
"Yup," she answered.
When everyone was in place, Bo started the video camera.
It was nearly one o'clock in the afternoon, when the three got into Chris and Bridgette's car to take the trip to the apple orchard. Bo was pleased with the takes that he had in the can. Bridgette knew she had done the best she could for posterity and Sharon's memory. And Chris was hungry.
The second big event for the day for Bo was a date with Karmel. Scheduling was the reason that he was doing both events on the same day and that we was abandoning his friends for a few hours--they would have to fend for themselves. Chris and Bridgette could only come up for this weekend. In addition, Karmel set the date, a day on which she had a Saturday night open, being required to work three Saturdays of every month.
It was about six-thirty when Bo parted ways with Chris and Bridgette. Chris and Bridgettte turned south from the lane on to the main road, and while they did, Bridgette said to Chris, "There was no way I was going to get in the way of any date. He needs a woman around." Bo headed north.
The meeting place for Bo and Karmel was a restaurant--not where she worked. Bo arrived first, and he did not have to wait long. When she showed up, he was leaning against his car.
They had agreed to an informal date, and so each had jeans, but he wore a sweatshirt while she wore a jacket over a purple blouse.
"So, how are you?" he asked.
"Did you have a busy day?"
"Not too busy. Those friends that I told you about showed up." He opened the door to the restaurant. "We spent time at an apple orchard. By the way, in the car, I have a bag of small apples for you. It has three different varieties."
Inside, they were greeted by a short elderly woman--a woman's whose only job seemed to be that of the hostess. They asked to be seated at a booth, and that was where they ended up, one that was along the south-side wall, which was mostly made up of windows, at least from table height to the ceiling.
When the waitress had been told what they wanted to drink and had placed menus on the table, Bo said, "A long time ago, I learned that going to a movie is the worst thing to do on a first, because, in essence, you end up in big dark room with someone who is a stranger, and when you do that, you don't get to talk. But I guess you can talk at a restaurant and then go to a movie, but that still puts the movie in the way, and then you have to worry about what type of movie to see, and, in this town, there is only one theater."
Karmel was half listening. She sipped her glass of water. "You don't get out often?" She crossed her legs the other way.
"No. Not up here. My place is fairly well out of town, and I've been busy with my projects."
"How'd you get started on your bed-and-breakfast? Why?"
"It be fifteen years ago when I came up with the idea. I told my then wife."
"You've been married before?"
"Yes. She died almost three years ago."
"Doesn't matter. When I told her about it--a couple times--she began to get on board. We began to collect things that we could use in it. We went to yard sales or garage sales and estate sales and looked for nicknacks and old things that we could store away till they could be used. We wanted big bargains. We found old paintings, nothing like masterpieces. Anyway, we had to worry that something might get damaged by guests or might have to be adjusted by me to create some effect. We found chairs and tables, like that one in the dining room. The theme was a castle-like thing of about one-hundred years ago. We knew we couldn't get things from Europe on the cheap."
"Have you ever gone?"
"No. Not eager to. There's enough to see in this country, at least while we can under the current government people." He had slipped into another subject, which he had not wanted to get into--yet. "So, it has been a dream thing, I guess. We scrimped and saved, and I'm still in that mode. Yeah, we didn't go out to movies often or out to restaurants."
"And when we started in earnest to build the place, the time working was a lot of time working. We had jobs, and we had to drive up here on weekends or vacations to do things. I came up with the plans, and I had to go through a number of versions, because the place is quite a special place. It's no ordinary building. Really, it's like an old house with a facade that makes it look like a castle or semi-castle."
He hesitated and then answered, "I'll just say, ‘No "secret rooms."' It seems, ah. Let me just say that there are some secret cupboards and panels. That's all I'll tell you."
"Have to sometimes, or it would take away some tricks and mysteries."
The waitress showed up. "Have you decided?" Karmel and Bo looked at each other, each wondering who should speak first, and it was Bo who said, "Give us a couple more minutes."
"Take your time."
So as not to have to send the waitress away again, they read the menus in earnest. She was in no way close to famished, and he did not want to get too much, because if he had to do talking to pass the time, he did not want to deal with a plate filled with a lot of food on it, which he would have to eat, which would stop him from filling the silence. She closed the menu first.
During dinner, they talked much about what were simple themes. Karmel noted what the waitress did and did not do right. Since Karmel was a waitress, she had her standards and knew how she liked to be treated as a customer. Bo listened intently and made comments about one bad waitress that he had years ago at what was supposed to be a high-end restaurant in the Detroit area, and the event revolved around crab legs that surely old.
Bo finally asked, "So, how did you end up here?"
She set down her coffee cup. "I went to school at Central for a while, and it was refreshing to be out of the Detroit area. Mom and dad were now in the Flint area, and that was no better. I took some waitressing jobs, and a few summers ago, I managed to get a job here. The manager and owner is easy to get along with and is fair. It was nice to be in a place where I didn't have to live with bars on the windows to keep the thieves and scum out. I can walk down the main street without being harassed. People seem to have gotten used to me."
Bo straightened himself up on the bench.
She looked down at the coffee. "I don't get to see mom every day, but I get down when I can. We talk on the phone almost every other day. And I was able to get her into using a computer for e-mail."
"And you're dad?"
"He died almost five years ago. I miss me. He was a good guy."
"Never married then?"
"No. I haven't met anyone. And up here, there aren't a lot of prospects. A lot of the guys that I've met even in college were players. Don't need any players. And you have no children?"
"No. Just me. We purposely didn't."
"Oh." She wondered whether or not he liked children. She wondered whether or not he was too busy with career. She wondered whether his wife was too busy working on a career. "Um."
"Well. There was a good reason. In her family, there was hemophilia. Women are the carriers, and men get hemophilia. It didn't seem to be a good idea--children. It was a choice."
"Yes. I see."
Bo looked for the clock and found it on the wall behind the register station. "It's too bad the snack station is closed for the season at the marina, but we could go down to the marina park and see if we can see any freighters out on the lake. They'd be lighted up. The park closes at ten. We'll just sit in the car and talk a short while. If it were summer, I'd offer you ice cream."
"Who's car? Yours or mine?"
"Either one or both."
It was already dark outside, and Bo persuaded her to go in one car to the marina, and she drove. There, some street lights were on, and she parked under one so that they would not be totally in the dark, as if sitting in a dark theater with no movie being shown. No one was near either in a parked car or walking nearby.
Karmel turned sideways on the seat. "So, why did you choose to ask me out?"
That was most certainly a startling question. To stall a moment, he said, "I suppose you want the truth."
She said nothing.
"Lot of reasons." The question that he asked himself was--How much should he say? "You seem to be pleasant. To be blunt, I liked your shape, and I got to see a lot of it at the restaurant on the first day I saw you. There, I observed how you talked to the customers and how you moved. I wasn't put off by your face! A lot of white gals have a tendency to look bitchy or uppity, and a lot of black gals often have the perpetual angry look, like gangster gals. At least, that's what I've seen in the Detroit area often. Then, there are those really skinny vegetarians and, unfortunately, those really heavy gals who are shaped like fat-guy plumbers who show their butts when going under the sink. That's not for me."
"And woman is a woman. You have erotic woman parts. It's just that you happen to have brown skin."
"Never made do it with a black chick?"
"You mean--Have I never made love wit a black woman or, like you, a woman with naturally brown skin? No. But I haven't had sexual intercourse with many women. Why did you accept?"
"Curious. I wanted to see your response. You didn't seem to be a ‘player.'"
"Maybe I am. I pictured you."
"That's honest. I guess I should be flattered."
."Well, your turn to be honest. Are you a Barack Obama supporter? I'm not. I think he's a crap of a man. He's dangerous to individuals and to his country."
She rubbed her left thigh, but he was not paying attention, but she was not trying to draw his attention. "No."
"In fact, I think is highly ill, quite insane. A man who would hurt and has hurt millions of persons is quite insane. I have no other word for it. Does it bother you?"
"I haven't gone that far." He had been blunt, but he had been in the parking lot of the grocery store--from what little she had been able to determine. "No, I'm not one of his supporters."
"From what I have been able to hear and see, he's more like a crazed 'player' than a President. To me, the stimulus thing didn't make sense. And when they passed the health-care law, it really bothered me. They're creating a monopoly where only the government will pass along health care. If I get breast cancer."
"I hope you don't with. Of course, I haven't seen them."
"If I get breast cancer, my only recourse is the federal government. That's bad. That's bad for women. I was thinking of taking business classes. Then, I heard they tied the student-loan program to health-care bill. Now, the federal government is in a position to tell me what loans I can get and probably for what courses I am allowed to use the money--or that's coming. They could even--if I didn't follow the Democratic Party line."
"You mean the ‘Communist Party' line. It's now the Communist/Marxist/Socialist Party."
"If I didn't follow the Democratic Party, they could deny me a loan. They'll secretly pick and choose who gets loans and who doesn't."
"That's only the half of it. Have you learned of all the corrupt and deviant people around him. Not that it matters, but his communist mentor in Chicago was gay. His Reverend Wright, where he and Michelle went to church for twenty years, is a racist--he's a white hater and an America hater. His close associates include tax cheats and people who praise Mao, that Chinese guy who was instrumental in killing millions of Chinese. He has made friends with communist dictators, such as Hugo Chavez."
"He lies constantly. That really bothers me. When a man lies as much as he does, you can't trust him."
"And he supported the Iranian dictators recently when people in Iran were protesting, there, over the election fraud. He was instrumental in taking Arizona to court over the immigration-related law that Arizona passed. They've been having all sorts of trouble with thugs from Mexico and other places south of the border. By the way, the last I knew--one of the national parks in Arizona is sort of off limits to U.S. citizens because gun runners kind of have control of the land. He has put down doctors and business people. He coerced bondholders during the Chrysler bankruptcy in early 2009. Those with bondholder rights got pennies on the dollar."
"Mom, lost some of her retirement. That really hurt her."
"And the oil thing in the Gulf of Mexico--the explosion. I'm convinced he purposely delayed getting cleanup help to the area so that the oil could hurt the beaches and businesses. I wouldn't put it past him."
"So, you call yourself a ‘conservative'?"
"Sort of. A ‘Libertarian' then?"
"To me, both are bad names. To dummies, ‘Libertarian' sounds like it has links to ‘liberalism.' To dummies, when you say ‘conservative,' they think about what guys in stuffy suits and ties. ‘Conservatism' lacks a good definition in the minds of many. If I had my way, the Republican Party would be called the ‘Constitution Party.' It would be a party that supports the rules of The U.S. Constitution. You've heard Barack Obama called The Constitution a flawed document?"
"No. I missed that."
"He did that in a radio interview a few years ago."
"So, you're a conservative?"
"Good enough for now, or a ‘constitutionalist.' Right now, I'm just a guy who, whenever he can, tries to tell people what a piece of garbage Barack Obama is. Even up here, though, there are a bunch of stupid people."
"And the Republican Party has a bunch."
"They're like plants or they're really stupid about life."
"McCain really put fear in me when I watched the debates. He didn't take on Obama. I knew we were in trouble."
"Sometimes, I think when he was a prisoner in the Vietnam War, he became sympathetic to the North Vietnamese and their cause, and he has carried that on through the years. I think, when he had a chance to leave the prison camp, after our government had worked out a release, he chose to stay not necessarily for his buddies but so that he could have a political career later. Like Kennedy, he would be a war hero. By the way, did you learn how Teddy Kennedy conspired with the Soviets against Ronald Reagan in the early 1980s?"
"Roughly." He thought a moment and hoped he did not get his explanation too wrong, though what the incident was true. "He used a middle man to get in touch with the communist rulers in the Soviet Union and was working on ways in which the press in this country could make the Soviets look good in the nuclear missile thing or negotiations. Kennedy was even going to get Walter Cronkite and I think Barbara Walters to do interviews that would be sympathic to the Soviets and undermine this country."
"I didn't know that."
"A lot of people don't. It was a British reporter who made the incident known in the nineties when the KGB files were open up. And I've seen stuff that shows he supports La Raza and Sharia Law."
"La Raza. Sotomayer--the U.S. Supreme Court Justice--is a supporter. It's a movement by Spanish-like people who want to take over a lot of the southwestern part of the country and make it a part of Mexico again. I think that's why Obama's fighting Arizona in court over the immigration thing."
"I didn't know about Las Rza."
"La Raza. Obama doesn't care. And the Sharia Law thing is really crap. Sharia Law is, in essence, strict Islam Law, which is oppressive, especially on women. For example, a man and a married woman can have an affair, but it's the woman who could be killed--stoned--over it, and the guy gets away with nothing. And I think Obama is pushing the ways of Sharia-Complaint Finance for this country. What happens with Sharia-Complaint Finance is Islamic clergy make the ultimate decision on whether or not a business transaction can take place. If you were to want to buy a car, the clergy would determine whether or not the transaction would be completed. And then there's a "charity" part to the event. Some money gets siphoned off for ‘charity.' Really, it is directed to hardline Islamic groups that are involved in terrorism and pushing Sharia on other countries."
She looked astonished. "I didn't know that."
"By the way, the first Sharia-Complaint Finance bank to be set up in the country was set up, here, in Michigan--in Ann Arbor a bunch of years ago."
"And look what's happened to Detroit.."
"I have an uncle who still lives there."
"See him much?"
"Not in a long time. We're not speaking. Mama hears from him, and he's always trying to convince her Obama's what they've been waiting for. I'm not sure what that means. It's like he worships him. I could never worship a man. I've met too many losers. I think mama voted for him. Now she regrets it, especially after what happened with Chrysler. I pass along more about Obama to her from time to time. But I don't press it. She's voted Democrat along time. She doesn't understand the Democratic Party stands for slavery. It supported segregation a few decades back. And I've seen all these thugs become supposed representatives for ‘us blacks,' like Farrakhan. He's like. I don't know."
"Pushers of enslavism. And I'll say this--They're blacks keeping black slaves."
She turned to face the front window and thought, and then she glanced over to the houses on the left.
Bo wondered what she was thinking. "Maybe we should head back. We'll call it an evening."
Several cars and trucks were still in the parking lot at the restaurant, and Bo and Karmel could see staffers doing what were probably regular chores in the process to close up for the day. She parked next to his car, and he got out. So that they could say goodbye for the evening, she lowered the window of the passenger door.
He bent over slightly so that he could look through the window and across to her. "So, so, I wonder." He changed his mind about what to say next. "I hope you felt safe and comfortable the entire time. Can't do much more than that."
"Yes. Thank you." She felt that awkward moment rise within her--who says who will come whom or something?
"I will be in town Monday. I'll stop at the restaurant in to say hello, if you don't mind."
"No. I could be busy, though."
"Just a quick hello."
"You, too. Drive carefully. Watch out for the deer."
Karmel gave a little wave and drove away, leaving Bo standing next to his truck.
When Karmel closed the door of her little apartment, which was the second story of a house just outside the southern city limits, she wandered over the couch. She slumped down on the couch, wondering what to make of the evening. It was certainly different and unexpected. Into her telephone, she punched the telephone number for her mother. Her moms phone rang three times."
"Hello," a woman answered, and it was clearly--to Karmel--Karmel's mother.
"Hi, mama. I just got home."
"Did you have a good time?"
"It was okay. We went out to eat, and that was about it. We drove down to our little marina to see if any freighters were out there. We didn't see any. The meal was not as good as my place. The waitress left a lot to be desired. How was your day?"
"Just wondering about you. I watched an old movie."
"Was it good?"
"I've seen it before. You gonna see that man again?"
"I'm not sure."
No reason to get up early--that was what this Sunday morning was for Karmel, who lounged around in two comforters, one blanket, and two sheets in bed. She liked to have a lot of layers on her in bed, especially in winter, though this was not winter. Even on really hot days, which this day was not expected to be, she found it hard to sleep without some type of cover that had weight.
In her mind were thoughts of the previous night. The dinner talk was not sticking in her mind as much as the marina talk. And the end of the date seemed to end stiffly.
Finally, Karmel was in the bathroom. She stared at her face in the mirror. It had not occurred to her that her face was not showing anger like others. To her, it was a face of a woman approaching thirty-one years of age. The word "erotic" came to mind. Was this an "erotic" face? Without any makeup on, it did not seem "erotic" her. In the past, she had heard a bunch of lines from men, but none had really used "erotic" to describe her, so she wondered whether "erotic" was just another male's line.
While eating a cereal from a porcelain bowl, which was also filled with chocolate milk, she listened to a soft-music radio station. It was soothing and helped her mind ander. On this day, she was in no mood to see the morning political talk shows, professing this lie and that lie. Even a favorite Floater's song happened to get played, and that was a delightful surprise.
She opened up the drapes of the living-room window before she snuggled under a comforter on the couch, ready to do nothing but watch football. It would be about an hour till the game started. For now, the pre-game shows were on, and they were not really that interesting to her, unlike the games when she could watch guys and tight pants.
In a short while, she fell asleep.
Meanwhile, at the castle, Bo was blowing fallen leaves and pine needles into big piles. Every year, while color season was waning, millions of pine needles and leaves--it seemed to him--would fall. He would use them to cover the pathway to the beach, as he had done in past years, and although they would be a little hard to walk on for a while, they would get crushed down over time, and it was better to put the leaves and needles on the pathway than burn them, since it was faster, and if he did not put something down, over time, the pathway would wear down and roots of trees would be exposed, and someone might trip on a root sometime. Already, he had made four piles, one of which was the size of a small car--one of those useless electric cars that Granholm and Obama had been trying to push on the country, which would restrict the ability to move goods and materials in the country. Scattered about the piles were a few pine cones and small branches that had fallen over the last two months, the last time when he had walked about the yard and picked up branches.
A loud commercial woke Karmel. The football game was on, and her team was already losing, and that was no surprise to her. She turned the sound down two notches. The game was worthwhile, because she got to see guys running around and see their muscles move, especially their leg muscles. One guy in particular attracted her. He seemed to smile nicely.
A dream began to develop in her mind. She was standing out on a beach, and it was noon. It was most certainly ninety degrees, and the humidity was high. She began to unrobe, removing her Lions sweatshirt and shorts and revealing a bright-yellow swimsuit. The sand was really warm, but not too hot, as she walked toward the water, calm and inviting. She did not stop walking when she reached the water, which, as she continued on, rose up and up and up her body, till it reached her waste. Then, she stopped moving. She cupped both hands and caught water in each and spooned it over her shoulders. It was several times that she caught cups of water and sprinkled it over her body. Finally, now a bit used to the water, she dropped down fully till the water reached her neck and the hair flowing about her shoulders. Then, she dunked her head under the water and then sprang to her feet and used both hands like squeegees to ring out her hair. The moment her eyes opened, it was night and dark, though not completely dark. The moon was full and well above the horizon, and it was if she were standing at the end of the moonbeam. She turned around, water dripping from her body, and began the long trip up the beach to where she could see a man standing. It was the football player, and every muscle of his body was clearly defined. He was dark and shiny, but it was not hard to see him in the light of the full moon. When she reached him, she hugged him, and he hugged her, putting his arms completely around her. She stepped back and sat down on her left buttocks mostly. He leaned down and kissed her and touched her shoulder, but she pulled away so that she would lay down on her back. She beckoned him to lie next to her, and he followed her instructions and snuggled up close to her.
By this point, in the real world, Karmel had her arms wrapped around the comforter, and she was paying no attention to the football game. A new but broken image struck her. She tried to picture Bo standing before her at the beach. She could not. An image would not appear well. There was no real image in her memory to work with--yet.
Bo was yet blowing and raking leaves into piles when Bridgette and Chris showed up. Chris parked the car in the spot that he usually chose. Together, they exited the car.
Chris had to yell, since Bo was several-hundred feet away, "Are you ready?"
Bridgette wanted to a take a little drive and see what color was left in the trees, and Bo shouted back, "I'm ready." He laid down the rake that he was carrying and headed toward them. "I was just killing time."
If this castle was nothing more than a regular home, he could get away with not locking it up, but since it was partially a business, he locked the front door before walking over to Chris and Bridgette's car. Bo got on the back seat behind Bridgette, and Bridgette sat in front of him on the passenger's side of the front seat.. Chris was setting himself in to drive.
Bridgette asked, "What time did you get in last night?"
"Ten o'clock hour."
"So it was more than dinner?"
"We went down to the marina after dinner and talked a while, and then we went home."
Chris started out up the lane. "So, it wasn't a complete disaster? You weren't squirming in your seat to get home?"
"Nothing like that. She's a nice gal."
"Did you set up anoher date?" Bridgette asked. "No."
"Are you gonna?"
Chris turned right on to the main road. "How far to that road that cuts inland?"
"About four miles."
Bridgette was not going to give up on the subject that was most on her mind. "How did she kiss?"
"How'd she kiss?"
"Don't know. Didn't . Didn't seem right."
"Did she smell good?"
"Ah." Bridgette was always pushy when it came the subject of dating, and Bo wondered how to change the subject his time. "Like a woman. How's that?"
"What'd she wear?"
"It's important. You can see whether she was at least a little interested in you. What'd she wear?"
"I mean jeans."
"Blue, I think."
"Whatelse did she have on?"
"Ah, black. No dark blue."
"What color blue?"
"Got me. Dark blue."
"How far up was it buttoned?"
Chris was avoiding getting involved in the grilling.
Bridgette rephrased the question. "Did she show? Did she show you enough."
"Just what I'd normally expect when a woman wears a blouse."
"What about shoes?"
"No idea. Shoes. No bare feet."
"That means your attention was aimed higher up. So you were focusing on the stuff from--what--her butt up to her face?"
"So, you were interested. She wasn't sexually neutral or sexually lacking?"
"Was her space small or large? I mean was the psychological wall close in or, maybe, right out to you all the time? Did you feel you couldn't get close because she had an invisible wall set up far around her?"
"I didn't notice anything really far out. It was just comfortable."
While pointing off to the left, she said, "Now, that's pretty." Much of the top of the group of trees to which she pointed was bare. "Any rings?"
"Baby finger. The earrings were circles. You know, each was a somewhat big steel ring. Obviously, I know nothing about a bellybutton jewelry."
Chris turned his yes toward Bo for an instant. "So, let me ask you, since you keep up on it," Chris said. "What's this deal about the Democrats' wanting to take over 401(k)s?"
Bo was glad to have the question. "It's true. There's this nutty professor gal name Teresa Ghiluducci, whom they're listening to. She's pushing the idea of the government taking control of all the private pension or retirement plans--in essence, nationalize them--and in exchange give everybody as annuity type thing, a Guaranteed Retirement Account. What crap! In total in the country, there are about nine-trillion dollars in those things--that's 9,000-billion dollars. They've already bankrupted Social Security, having taken away all the money for other things. No trust funds exist. Barack Obama would love to get his hands on that, so he can use it for his purposes, such as to shore up rotten cities run by Democrats and communist nations. Remember: He was working to get an international climate-change treaty put together that would result in the U.S.'s having to give up money to other nations, such as dictator nations, to pay for all the supposed damage that the U.S. has done to the world environment. So, if you've got a Roth IRA or Keogh or 401(k) or whatever, you'd lose control, and get an I.O.U. thing from Barack Obama. When I heard her talk about it in a radio interview one day, she sounded like a naive little girl--like a silly teenager. Another low-level thinker."
"Yup, take from others so they don't have to do anything--that's Barack Obama. He's a leach living off others."
"I've told you before. He's insane. He likes to hurt people, because in his world, others are not real. When others get hurt, he has no real altruistic feelings. He's a cold man, because he is what is important in his mind. And, of course, there are nuts who follow him and naive people who think one man can take care of all the supposed inequality in the world. Of course, there's no thought to the idea that those other countries are junk because they're dictatorships where people can't do anything to make things better or the world better--they are simply trapped by limits that allow them to have only the minimum--and it has been those sick, jealous, selfish, and insane elites who've been the problem and are the problem. Their worlds are fantasy, not able to grasp what the real world is."
Chris knew once Bo got on the subject that he was on, he could drive the conversation for hours, and that was better for Bo than having Bo answer questions about some woman. "A lot of people haven't figured that out. In dream worlds!"
"They haven't figured out that life is nothing more than what it is at the moment. Dumb heads looking for the mystical. That get others hurt."
"And then there's all those slugs in Detroit who think they can get something for doing nothing. Goes against nature. They don't know that story about the squirrels who gather nuts for the winter and the squirrel that don't. You don't do anything, you don't get anything. Barack Obama is out to get things and obtain, so why do they think his is out to get things for them?" Sarcastically, he added, "Yes, put your faith Barack Obama to give you stuff you haven't worked for." And now staring off to the right, he added, "Put out your hand as a begger. Like a begger, you'll get scraps."
During much of the drive, somebody in the car was saying something, and the subjects were all over the map, and they even got to the subject of the football game, which they were missing, though they could have found a radio broadcast of the game on the radio. For the second time in two days, Bo ended up at a restaurant, but this time was for a late lunch. He would have dinner alone, sometime after Bridgette and Chris had started off on the four-hour drive for home.
Every time Bridgette and Chris visited, Bo showed off the latest set up of the control room, and, of course, their seeing it would take away some of the mystery of how things worked and what could happen on a stay as guests. The control room was a hidden space in the house, and it was not large enough to be called a room. The entrance was through a tool locker in the garage. When a person looked in the locker, the person would see, to the right, drawers containing tools, from wrenches to screw drivers, and, to the left, a closet area, the left wall of which, which had shelves, could be opened up to allow a person to slip in to the control room. Because of the way in which the place had been designed, the control room was well hidden, and people would think that it was space that was being used for a portion of the fireplace and the chimney and the furnace space. A person would have to draw up a schematic of the place to discover something did not add up in relation to the spaces in the house. And the room was well sound proofed so that guests would not be aware of noise coming from behind any wall surrounding the control room, and the furnace had purposely been put next to the hidden room so that, if people heard noise, they might attribute it to the furnace, which was really a furnace with an attached air-conditioning system and which would have at least the fan running when guests were around so that guests would always think any noise that might come from the control room was something the furnace did.
Boris poked his head in. The space was only comfortable for one person at a time. "Wow! You've added more." The main control board was right before him. To the right the board was a radio rack that had monitors and switches and lights and levers. There was one chair. "Where's the manual?"
"For now, on several jump drives and a hard disc."
"Even the mechanics and signal lines and data lines in the crawl space. Everything's marked. If I didn't, I might even forget what goes to what. "
On the floor--underneath the chair--was a hatch, another entrance to the crawl space. "This is a new panel." It was a panel that was a panel like none of the others. It was red, and the others were black. "What's this?"
"A system," Bo answered, not eager to pass along more.
"A system?" Chris read some of the labels rather quietly. "Broadcast Output One. ‘A' Gain. Mixing Number One. Mixing Number Two. Input Level Bank Four." He sat up. "Beyond me." He counted to himself the number of meters with hairline indicators.
"You'll have to read the manual."
"Why don't you just tell us?"
"I'd rather not. It's special."
"It's part of an experiment. An invention I'm working."
"Hey, you've explained the other things. We're sort of silent partners. I think we deserve to hear. Don't you think so, Bridgette?"
"Oh, let him keep his secret for now." Bridgette was peeking into the control room from the closet part of the locker and standing behind her was Bo. "I'm sure he'll tell us when it's time."
Chris announced, "It's probably some type of shocking device or electrocution device."
Bridgette came up with a story. "Of course, maybe, we've found that he going to shock someone to death. Right when they get frighten by one of his big tricks, he'll push the button. Later, a doctor will say they died of fright. But it was murder!"
"Yeah!" Chris noted. "You pay to have your victim come here. They think it's a holiday thing gift . Then at midnight, the big kill. What would you charge, Bo, ten thousand, twenty thousand?"
Bridgette said, "Good money, if someone's willing to pay. I know some who might."
Bo agreed. "Yes, good money, indeed." He began to usher them out. "It's a thought." As usual, he locked up the tool closet with two large locks.
Bridgette said, "I hope you're not fipping about no cameras in the bedrooms and bathrooms. That's would be creepy and sick."
Chris said, "He's a voyeur at heart."
"No. Those are safe zones. On my honor." In the kitchen, Bo leaned against the counter where the old porcelain sink was set in. "But outside, it's covered. And the same goes for the living room, game room, et cetera. I've got to be able to time those events properly."
"So what is that thing," asked Chris.
Bo contemplated a new thought, and it almost seemed as if he forgot his two guests were near. "I've got an idea. Try this expansion on your electrocution idea. You get two subjects, a man and a woman who are willing to take part in sexual experiment. When the woman is undressed, you attach pickup sensors to various parts of the body. Also, you connect sensors to the man. Around each's head, you put on a head band containing various types of signal generators or something. Then, the man and the woman begin the process of, you know. The sensors pick up the signals, which get filtered for background noises and isolated and amplified. Then you send the data from the woman to the headband on the man, and, in the meantime, you send the data from the man to the woman. During the session, each not only gets the sensations generated within each's own body but also sensation signals from the other. In this case, what you can do is boost the gain right when there is the peak of pleasure and kill the subjects with pleasure. In the end, a doctor can only say that each person died from overexertion. You hear about it all the time. Some guy was with a young woman and died. Then, the gal runs off with her young lover and a treasure."
Chris added a finishing thought. "And you get twenty-thousand dollars. What's that at one a week for a year?"
"Exactly." Bo glanced over to the clock on the wall. "Nearly six. It means you won't get home till sometime after ten."
"Normal for us," Bridgette said, while yet thinking over the scenario that Bo had put forth.
Chris and Bridgette's car had been packed up for the trip at the motel, so it was ready to go. When standing next to the car, Bridgette gave Bo had tremendous hug, and Chris only shook Bo's hand, while they said their formal goodbyes. From within the car--right before Chris began to move it away--Bridgette waved goodbye, and right when the car started to move, Chris nodded.
** TO BE CONTINUED **
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