George's life is about to change, and he can't believe his luck.
| Play the hand you're dealt, the saying went, but George Vale never put much stock in that. Fate had dealt him an awful hand, and he didn't have a play to make, never had. Scrawny, with bland, unattractive features, he'd been ignored by his father, bullied at school, and pushed aside by the go-getters in the workplace. His facility with arithmetic had landed him this job as a bank teller. It paid well enough to afford a decent studio near the bank, food, a few nice suits, and the occasional treat, but he already knew that he would retire as a teller even if he gave fifty years to the bank.
George hardly gave it a thought anymore. It was just the way it was. Life sucks, and then you die. Another saying he'd read, this one on a bumper sticker. It was more accurate than most.
It was George's turn to lock the door this week, which meant he would close his window a half-hour early, verify his balance sheet for Mr. Granger, lock the door, and let each of the late-banking patrons out as they finished their transactions. So it was that he was able to leave for the night at 6:10 this Monday. The other tellers would spend a half-hour working on their balance sheets before they could head for home. A good week.
He bought an evening newspaper and made his way to the bus stop. He would be home early every night this week, and looked forward to a quality frozen dinner and some educational television. Such were the treats in his life. He sat down on the covered bench and held the folded paper on his lap; the bus would be here before he had time to read anything. He would do that at home.
He had a nice view while he waited. There was a clean, well-manicured park across the street, and laughing children romped on the grass in the shade from the nearby trees. A line of traffic stopped at the signal, a large truck blocking his view, but when it moved away there was a new addition to the scenery. A young woman, a brunette with a rich, smooth tan, perhaps even Eurasian or Mulatto, certainly exotic in any case, had sat down on the matching bench across the street. Her short summer frock provided him an underview of her athletic thighs, and George, a shy man with a powerful leg fetish, soaked up the view like a sponge. Then his bus arrived and he was swept away to his empty, sterile apartment to face his newspaper, a frozen dinner, and some television shows he found himself unable to concentrate on.
Tuesday dragged on interminably as George thought frequently of the mystery woman, whether she would be at the bus stop again tonight, and what she might be wearing. Six o'clock arrived and George dutifully manned the door, fighting down his impatience to bid a cordial good evening to each late banker. When the last one left it was only 6:01, and he fairly flew out the door, skipped the newspaper, and took his seat on the bench.
The woman arrived shortly thereafter, once again the traffic clearing to reveal her already seated, legs primly crossed this evening, watching the traffic pass with alert and shining eyes. Once she caught his eye. Her head tilted after a moment, and she lifted her hand, palm out. Was it a wave? He couldn't tell, and tried to act like he wasn't watching, looking down the street at the suddenly-fascinating traffic signal at the corner. His bus arrived, and he was away, and not without a sense of relief. If she thought he was spying on her, well, an angered woman could make a great deal of trouble for a man like George in this day and age.
Wednesday, chastened by his near escape, George paid much more attention to the minutiae of his job, and wasn't so eager to head for the bus stop; he wasn't upset when he didn't get out the door until 6:17, and he stopped to buy a paper on his way.
The traffic was in place when he sat down, and when it moved, there she was, seated primly, knees together, in another of her delightful floral miniskirts. She didn't seem to notice him, and he opened his paper, only allowing himself an occasional brief glance in her direction. During his third glance, she turned her body and leaned to the side, digging for something in the large purse on the bench beside her. As she did, her knees began to drift apart until for the briefest moment, George was sure he could see a powder blue strip of cloth in the darkness between. The poor man's eyes almost fell out of his head!
The traffic intervened again, and he returned to his paper, savoring the memory, and thankful that she hadn't caught him.
Or had she?
When he looked again, her eyes were locked with his. Her expression was unreadable, neither angry nor pleased.
Had she seen him? What must she think? Would she report him?
Thankfully his bus arrived to take him away from her inscrutable gaze.
Thursday the last customer was out the door at 6:08. George was in no hurry to leave, but it had to be done, and he followed the plan he had formulated the previous evening, turning off the main street, walking around the block, and going to the next stop two blocks up the street. He had no idea what she might or might not have seen, but he would take no chances further angering an outraged feminist. If she had seen him come out of the bank, and complained to Mr. Granger . . . Well, he only had two more evenings of door duty, and it would be easy enough to ensure that she never laid eyes on him again.
He carried out his plan of evasion, and was happy not to see her walking on the street. She had to arrive at her bench from somewhere, and that was his final worry. Happy as he could be, he boarded his bus and found an open window seat half way back. As the bus pulled into traffic, he studied the sidewalk opposite, verifying that he had made good his escape.
He leaned back and pinched the bridge of his nose, the tension headache from worrying about this all day already beginning to dissipate. He had just drawn a sigh of relief when someone who had already been on the bus approached from behind and slid into the seat next to him.
It's her! Oh, my God, take me now!
"What are you . . ." he started to blurt.
"Doing on this bus?" she finished in soft, dulcet tones.
"Well . . . Yeah. You go the other way."
"I go whichever way I choose. Always have. I was surprised when you didn't get on at your usual stop. Are you trying to avoid me?"
"Avoid? No, not at all. I had to stop at a shop is all."
His heart was racing like a woodpecker at full throttle, and he considered reaching for the cord and bailing out at the next stop.
"Don't do that," she said as if reading his mind. "I like to get to know my admirers. My name's Angelique. What's yours?"
"George," he said shyly, nervous, sure she was collecting information for her complaint.
"That's nice," she said. "A lot of kings have been named George. Are you headed home?"
"And do you have a boring little wife waiting for you?"
"No, just my cat, and I'm pretty sure she considers me boring. Just like everybody else," he added before he could stop himself.
"You're funny, George," she said with a smile. "I like you. Would you like some company tonight?"
"I don't know. Girls like you only talk to me to make fun before they have their boyfriends beat me up."
"Do you hear me making fun, George? Do you see a boyfriend anywhere?"
"Well . . . No."
"No, you don't. I attract the sort of men you speak of in bunches, like grapes. They are all arrogant and full of themselves, and always telling me what I have to do to make them look good and keep them happy. But you, George, you are not like them. You are quiet and unassuming, and I'll bet you would be happy to have a friend like me."
"Maybe," he said in a long, thoughtful drawl.
"Of course you would, George. How many women like me come to you offering their friendship? A lot? Do you see so many that I am not interesting to you?"
"No, nothing like that."
"Well, if I represent an opportunity for you, then you should grasp it. I promise, you won't lay on your death bed bemoaning the fact that you didn't spend more lonely nights with your cat. What do you say, George? Let's go to your place, watch an old movie, and get to know each other better."
His heart was pounding for a completely different reason now.
She stood beside him as he fitted his key into the lock with a trembling hand. The door popped open and he motioned her into his private sanctum. Inexpensive but neat furniture, a small TV, and a sofa-bed stood around a small combination living- and bedroom, with a small kitchen beyond.
"I'm sorry," he told her," starting toward the kitchen, "all I have is frozen dinners. They're making them pretty good these days."
"Maybe we'll go out later," she said in a tone that made him turn to face her. She had her blouse pulled out of the waistband of her skirt, and was unbuttoning the row of small pearl buttons down the front. "Why don't we get comfortable?"
With her blouse halfway unbuttoned and her cleavage fully exposed, she stepped into him, pushed his suit jacket off his shoulders, and began to unbuckle his belt.
"Mmmmm, I hope I don't hurt you when I unzip these."
Blood roaring in his ears now, George forgot his milquetoast past. All the dues he had spent his life paying were about to pay off in spades. He shrugged his jacket off and reached to finish releasing the buttons of her blouse, her small but perfect breasts turned up as if seeking the touch of his mouth. She hooked her thumbs in the elastic waistband of her skirt and pushed it and her satin panties to the floor, exposing her golden treasure to his gaze.
A gaze that ignored that prize entirely, fixated as it was on the long tail that curled around from behind her, pointing at him with its arrowhead-shaped terminus. Dropping her fully unbuttoned blouse to the floor, she stepped into him, wrapping her arms around his neck and pressing those perfect breasts into his chest as a pair of leathery wings spread from behind her to enfold him.
"So, sweetheart," she said, lisping around the fangs beginning to fill her mouth, "shall we get started?"
The End . . .