Fiction Horror Romance

Lita was a gorgeous woman.

Scapula-length straight glowing ebony hair, tanned smooth skin, perfect pearly teeth, with the nose of a Javanese goddess, straight, petite, thin. About five feet tall, she wore heels that made her at least 5’2”. Dressed in the merchant’s uniform of gray slacks, yellow long-sleeved blouse and gray vest, she worked in the Denpasar International Airport’s duty-free shopping area.

She dealt with thousands of tourists and at least hundreds of men like Steve.  

She talked him into buying several trinkets for his family and office mates Stateside. It really was not a very hard sale. She recognized his silly infatuation right off.  

He appreciated all her charms, her wit and her seemingly undivided attention focused on him. Whenever she patted his hand on the counter, he thrilled and day-dreamed inappropriately. He was not a bad man, just a lonely fellow seeking any kind of recognition or validation. Of course, he knew that in twenty minutes when she bagged up his purchases and he walked out of the shop, down the hall and around the corner headed to his airline’s boarding gate, she would forget him and move on to the next infatuated customer. But, heck, let him dream in the moment.

Several cultures across the planet have tales about daydreaming and wishing and hoping causing the focus of it all to manifest. Every sane person knows that is nonsense and cannot possibly happen except in some wild fiction story designed to present some moral standard in a positive vein or in a dreadful twist. Or, it might happen in some quasi-religious spiritualistic fervor leading the dreamers/wishers/hopers to believe anything is possible if they only believe well enough.

On the other hand, there are those who do not give that bunk a second thought because they know it is absolute nonsense and one should not waste time contemplating it. Many times, these folks get their come-uppance in strange and uncomfortable ways.

But what happens if you just daydream for the sake of daydreaming? What if you spend an entire twenty-two-hour trip stuck in contemplation of true love and lust and forever-after that only a lonely infatuation can generate? What if you do not really care if that daydream comes true and you just use it to pass the time in a wishful somewhat pleasant way? 

Spending that much time focused on it; does that count the same as the old story would have you believe?

A champion boxer called his coach the night before his next fight, panicked. When asked why, the boxer stated that he had a doubt about the fight the next day. The coach was taken aback by how distraught the boxer was over just the thought of a doubt about the outcome of the match next day. This guy was top notch and had no reason to doubt, but because of this little doubt that came into his mind, the boxer felt a loss was imminent. A little thought made a champion lose a fight. He was doomed because of a fleeting thought.

Steve meditated on this gorgeous woman for nearly a full day. Not a fleeting thought, not an occasional “Wow, that would be nice!” He had a full-blown meditation going on for the entire trip.

Sound bad? Could be.

He returned to his apartment just off Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix. A nice little place, just right for a divorced guy with no kids or pets. He tossed his luggage on the bed and his treasures on the coffee table in the front room. He looked at his plants and they were as dead as he expected they would be. Luckily, they were all in small biodegradable pots, so he tossed them in his trash compactor and was rid of that mess right away.

He did not give Lita a single thought that first afternoon he got home.  

She was a pleasant thought to ponder on the plane. He decided that if he married again, he would marry someone like the woman he imagined her to be. She was smart, gorgeous, persuasive, and most pleasant to talk and flirt and tease with.  

She was pretty and fun for those twenty or so minutes they spent together in her shop. He knew then that he would never see her again and that it was hardly likely that she thought about him. 

Three days later, Monday, August 1, Steve was back at the office, rested, jovial, gift-bearing and, generally, quite pleasant.  

A week later, Monday, August 8, when he returned to the office, he was neither rested nor pleasant. He came across as peevish and nervous. Brandon, his office confidant, pointed this out to him that afternoon. Steve pointedly told him to fly off and to leave him alone.  

Brandon toddled off to HR and let Rosalia know that something was not right with Steve. She said she would talk with him. Because they had all been through various hard and fun times with each other, she felt comfortable confronting Steve in the hall the next morning.

“Brandon says you’re off kilter, Steve. What’s up?” she asked in her most caring HR voice.

“Nothing special, Rosie. Just a rough visit with Dear Old What’s Her Name over the weekend. I’ll be alright in a day or two.”

She knew he was lying. She knew DOWHN was off to D.C. with her new boyfriend and would not have talked with Steve. She and DOWHN were still friends from before DOWHN’s and Steve’s divorce.

That night, confiding to his diary, Steve wrote, “I couldn’t tell Rosie anything for a couple of reasons. Primarily, I don’t believe what is happening to me. And I sure as hell don’t think anyone else will believe me.

“Remember that gorgeous woman from the airport in Bali? She’s here with us, in our apartment, in our bathroom. What are we going to do?

“She can’t be real. All I see is her reflection in the mirror. When I turn around there is no one behind me. Turn back to the mirror and there she is. As gorgeous as I remember. She wears a different outfit each day like she has a closet full of clothes right here.

“She doesn’t say a word, but I can smell her sweet and musky perfume. Her smile is entrancing, and she stares right into my eyes. After the initial terror, I came to miss her and enjoy her presence in my mirror.

“I want to hold her, caress her, love her and stay here with her forever.”

Labor Day, September 5, the Phoenix PD accessed Steve’s apartment in response to the neighbors’ complaints about the stench. They found him upright in a chair in his bathroom, his eyes forever gazing into the mirror. 

His refrigerator well-stocked, his water faucets working, the coroner determined he starved to death.  

Crazy, huh?

May 27, 2023 01:42

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Geet Saini
07:38 Jun 02, 2023

Nice story and strong adjectives


Chuck Thompson
22:08 Jun 02, 2023

Thank you!


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