by Bob'n Around
Finding love in forbidden places
|It was Mary’s dog, Fido, who started his mistress’s spirited romance. “Whatever are you looking at, dog?”
The pure black Wired Haired Terrier sat facing the farthest corner of Mary’s living room. Nothing but a blank wall stared back at her pet. She took on where she had left off humming ‘White Christmas’. It was her favorite holiday song. The ‘I’m dreaming of a . . . “ often lapsed into favorite childhood memories of past seasons.
Nostalgia was heavily scented in her twenty-one years of life. She loved baking and sharing her good taste with family, friends, and the local homeless shelter. Mary was famed for her sugar-coated ‘Frosty-the-Snowman’ and Santa cookies, rich fudge covered brownies, steamy hot and fresh fruit pies, and homemade bread.
This was the first year living with only Fido keeping her company. She was the youngest of her large spread-out family. This year, her parents were on a second-honeymoon trip halfway across the world.
“What’s got into you, Fido? Come and get a treat.”
A prickle of fear tingled at the back of Mary’s neck. “You act like you are seeing a ghost.”
Her pet was acting nervous and on guard. The offer of a pinched-off piece of fresh bread crust as a treat had never gone abandoned before. Feeling a bit silly, Mary walked up and pressed a hand against the face of the wall.
“Stop that.” the wall said in a deep male baritone snarl.
Fido growled, rat-shaking the air. Startled out of her wits, Mary gave the wall a kick.
“Ow. All right. All right. I’ll stop hiding if you’ll just let me be.”
The smell of sulfur and brimstone popped and bubbled into the air. From out of the wall a tall dark and very handsome stranger pulled himself free with a tug. The wall settled back into shape behind him. “Name’s Almastafa, past demon from hell, recently cast out for acting too good for myself.”
Fido gave one bark and wagged his tail. Mary stood statue-like, quite in shock. The smell of pastries turning to smoke while burning in the oven went unnoticed.
The stranger knelt, beckoned Fido, and scratched the pet’s chin, becoming instant friends. “He’s quite good at sniffing out entities from both worlds, isn’t he. You must be quite proud of him. I think you’d best take care of your latest burnt offerings.”
“Oh.” Mary managed to gasp.
“Never mind. I’ll take care of it. I still have some fleeting powers left. Come on, Fido. Treat.”
Her dog ran between Mary’s legs while heading towards the kitchen. The stranger coming out of her wall disappeared from view. She felt a momentary delicious brush of seductive presence flow through her followed by footsteps.
“Who the devil are you? Why are you here?”
“I never give out my real name. You should feel honored,” her unwelcome guest laughed engagingly. “I am a has-been devil. I told you I have been cast out.”
More laughter followed Almastafa as he waved his arms and hands at the smokey kitchen. Through the mist fresh and good smelling bakery items appeared on Mary’s counters and kitchen table. The burnt offerings disappeared with the smoke. “Here Fido,” a gingerbread man cookie disappeared into the dog’s mouth.
“Don’t mind if I do,” the past demon from Hell munched on a newly made brownie. Something like a dull and dirty smudged halo danced on the creature’s head. It winked off as Almastafa glanced with dark inquiring eyes at Mary. “You look as delectable as this tastes. Sorry. I’ve still got a bit of bad-boy in me.”
“You can’t come in here like this acting as if you live here.” Mary found her voice.
“But I do,” Almastafa bowed slightly with a flourish and gave her a devilish grin. “Have for quite a spell. Sorry for the bad pun.” He reached down to scratch Fido’s chin.
“I was placed in your wall as punishment. You have quite a reputation in Hell, don’t you know, for doing good deeds without cause. If humans wore halo’s you’d be wearing one. I like what you are wearing, instead. Fits all your curves.”
Mary stopped sputtering. She pinched herself to make sure she wasn’t hallucinating. Nothing like that ran in her family. “You are real?”
“Quite. Let me provide additional proof.”
Before she could stop him, Almastafa stepped into a hug and kissed her warmly on her open lips. He seemed to melt warmly against her in the most satisfying sigh. New tingles raced each other around Mary’s nerves. She had to force herself to push the reformed demon away.
“What kind of demon gets cast out of Hell?”
A violent blush grew crimson on Almastafa’s well-tanned face. “It was a bit of lark, really. What better form of torment do you think I could think up. I am afraid it worked better than I thought. Adding a bit of light and truth to that evil domain shriveled up Beezelbub himself.”
“What? You were some kind of practical joker down there?” Mary tried grasping at what was happening to her.
“Please. Nothing so simple. I was performing my duties, making life a living Hell for those demons under my charge. Apparently, I did it too well.”
“And er, this Beezelbub placed you in my wall? I’m sorry. I’m not getting this. You’ve been here how long watching me and Fido? How long are you planning on staying?”
Almastafa blush turned into a sunrise. “I have been here long enough to fall in love with you. I’ve been protecting you, guarding you against all kinds of mischief from my peers back home. They’ve taken quite a disliking to you.”
“I have to sit down.”
A kitchen chair moved across the floor to slide behind her. She sat. Mary rubbed her forehead. “This is taking a lot of getting-used-to. I’m not going crazy am I?”
“I’m sorry. I couldn’t help myself. When Fido saw me I felt like I had to appear and let you know how I felt. If you want me to disappear for a while, I will.”
“Nevermind. I don’t want visitors thinking I talk to walls.” Mary shook a bark of laughter out from deep inside. It was joined by Fido’s. The relief that washed through her with the tension released felt wonderful.
“If I am going crazy, at least I have a good cook. That smoke and burnt food is as as real as life gets.”
“Thank you. I patterned everything I made after your recipes. Are you ready to deliver the goods? I’ve scouted out the widow’s and widower’s homes, the path to the homeless shelter, and the orphanage. There will be no trouble while we are about.”
He was flirting with her again, teasing gentle nudges of hips, caresses of touching fingertips. Dancing with her during the loading of the bakery goods into her van. The nearest they came to trouble during the ride was her responding more to Almastafa’s spirited lovemaking than her driving.
Time spent chatting up those she met no longer filled up her heart and soul. Mary found herself so attracted to Almastafa she had to pry her eyes away rom him. He seemed to captivate and enthrall anyone they met.
“Alma is all right, if that makes chattering with me easier, babe. Call me anything but late for one of your scrumptious dinners.”
So this was how Mary introduced him during her deliveries. By the way the two behaved with each other, everyone treated them as lovers. It was Mary’s turn to blush a time or two. Alma was so devoted to her cause that new specialty items appeared out of her van that she only wished she’d been able to afford before.
Boxes of clothing flowed forth into helping hands at the orphanage and homeless shelter. Envelopes with
sizable donations of cash fluttered into thankful administrator’s hands. Her gas gauge remained full wherever they went.
Alma sang her old favorite holiday songs with a full and vibrant earthy sounding voice with hers. In spite of herself, Mary realized she was having the time of her life.
“I know it will take some time to get to know each other, Merry Mary. But I do think I’ve convinced you there is love at first sight. That is what happened to me. I do believe it is happening to you.”
“I don’t feel at all like a wallflower around you, Alma. You bring the best out in me. Please stay as long as you want.” It was impossible to not want to comb her fingers through his dark curly hair.
That night as they lay side by side with Fido sleeping between them, they stayed up late into the wee morning hours sharing hopes and dreams, and other things lovers choose to know.
Mary fell into sleep at dawn sheltered in Alma’s arms with Fido warming her toes. It felt natural finding him there in her bed when she stretched and awoke. “You are a wish come true, Alma.
Think how much good we can do together.”
“And how much Hell that will be to Hell.” Laughed the reformed demon, still intent on carrying out his primary duties. The imp in him was still alive and well.
The two shared a deep and hungry morning kiss filled with equal desire. In each of their ears Hell’s bell’s began ringing in tribute to this unearthly union to one of mankind’s best womanly treasures.
The two would keep each other busy as much as they would in helping others. Down in Hell the bells stopped and Beezelbub sighed with relief.