It was extremely dark, the night was ink black and the wind sang like a chime. There were no stars or moon to shine the way. Evan walked slowly down the beach and was glad that he had been that way many times before. The logs, stumps, trees and rocks all looked familiar.
He had debated about meeting this girl all day long ever since she had invited him. Earlier in the day, he was walking the beach and saw her. Her name was Tanya and she was a very attractive girl. But, she was also a very nice girl, fun and cool.
They had known each other for a couple of summers and had talked enjoying long, fun-filled conversations. The drawing point and one thing that cemented the two together was the love of Tanya’s dog, Hermit, a very large Irish Wolfhound. He weighed over two-hundred pounds and was a big suck if he liked you.
He ruffled the dog’s head and the big boy wanted to give him a sloppy kiss.
“Hey, Evan how are you?”
“I am good, Tanya, how are you?”
“Great, thanks for asking. I was wondering if you would like to have a night picnic with Hermit and I?”
“That could be a lot of fun.”
“Great, then I will see you right here at around eleven o’clock.”
“Okay, see you then.” He gave Hermit a little more attention and then left.
Now it was night time and it was too late to back down. The dog saw him and barked politely running up to him. He ruffled the dog’s head and the big fella rubbed himself against Evan playfully for more love and attention.
“Hey, Evan you made it.”
“Don’t you just love the night, the darkness, the restless wind?”
“I guess so.”
“I am a night creature. I mean I am a night person, a night person. Do you like the night?”
“Well, I guess so. It’s just that when I was a kid my older brothers and sisters used to tell me all kinds of stories about night creatures and how horrible and terrible they were and they really scared me.”
“So what type of creature would you be really scared of?”
“I think a monster of some kind. I really don’t know. My older siblings used to scare me with stories about trolls and mean elves and things that went bump in the night.”
“Well, they sound kind of mean to scare their younger brother that way, but I can assure you that there are no monsters out here tonight. Unless, you consider Hermit a monster?”
“Of course not, because he is my buddy. And, besides, he will protect us from all of the monsters.”
“Of course he will, but honestly, he is scared of his own shadow sometimes.”
“No way, how can that be?”
“Once we were walking down the street and it was really windy. Someone’s garbage pail had tumbled over and the wind pushed it right at us and he jumped up and barked furiously at it. It was hilarious.”
“Well, everyone gets spooked sometime.”
“I guess so. Anyway, I have prepared a fun night for us. How did you manage to sneak away?”
“I just told my mother that I was staying at a friend’s house and told the friend that I had a rendezvous to meet a girl.”
“I am sure that he gave you a really hard time.”
“You are right. Actually, there were a couple of them and they really razzed me hard, but I don’t care.”
“I made some food for us. I hope you like fried chicken, egg salad, some fruit punch, some cheese and crackers and a dessert only if you eat enough of the other stuff.”
So they sat down on the beach and the darkness was still strong. Hermit sat between them and they took turns petting him. Their hands touched and they smiled at each other.
“You can kiss me you know, I wouldn’t mind.”
She looked away shyly and he almost chocked on his fried chicken.
“Did I say something wrong?”
“No, it’s just that we’ve always been friends and that was it.”
“I know that. This is why I invited you here tonight. I want to be more than friends.”
“You want to be my girlfriend?”
“I do. I love you, Evan. You are nice and sweet and smart and handsome.”
“I wasn’t aware that I was all those things.”
“You are those things and much more.”
“You are sweet and kind and beautiful and a great picnic food maker.”
“That is really sweet of you to say.”
“I thought it was rather corny.”
“I like corny, as long as it is from you.”
“Well, I am the king of corny.”
They both laughed.
“What is the most important quality that a girl can possess in your opinion?”
“I think honesty is the best quality.”
Tanya feigned a smile.
“Well, I was afraid that it would come to this eventually. I have something to tell you and show you.”
“What is it?”
“I am not what I seem to be.”
“What do you mean?”
“You have to promise me you won’t scream.”
“I promise, I won’t scream.”
“Okay, that is good. Remember, you promised that you wouldn’t scream.”
It took about a full minute before she transformed into a hideous monster, the type that his siblings used to scare him with in their tall tales.
Her face was a dark purple and her eyes were bulging and red. She had snakes for hair. Her fingers became quite long and creepy looking. Her mouth was twisted to reveal black teeth. There were welts all over her body.
“You can open your eyes and look my way now.”
He turned to her and didn’t scream. She was absolutely horrible. Before he knew what he was doing, he kissed her.
It was a deep, loving kiss.
When they pulled back, she looked at him and her tears were real.
“Are you upset about something?”
“No, I am very happy because you really do love me.”
“I have for a long, long time. I didn’t think you would be interested in me.”
“Because you are so beautiful and I figured that you could have any guy your heart desired.”
“Well, maybe during the day, but at night this is what I look like It would scare any guy away.”
“It didn’t scare me away.”
“You’re not just any guy.”
They smiled at each other and kissed some more.
The rest of the night they talked and then the sun was coming up.
“I should have explained to you that I don’t always look like that at night. It only happens on the cycle. Tomorrow night, I will look normal. But, right now before the sun comes up, I have to get inside the house. If I don’t, I will turn into stone.”
“I fully understand.”
She grabbed the picnic basket and blanket and ran off.
She turned and ran back for one last kiss. Then she left and he watched her and smiled.
“That was super awesome great.”
The sun was up and he walked into the sunshine feeling like a new man. After all, he had met his future wife.
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