Here's my contribution to Weekend Fiction
The prompt: Two people meet. One of them wants to be someone else. Write their story.
He stood at the counter of the village pet shop searching his wallet for a five-dollar bill to pay for the chew toy for his niece’s dog.
He was chatting with Randy, the store owner, when suddenly and loudly, loud enough to drown out the yapping puppies and barking dogs, he heard his name called: “Hey, Mike.”
He turned and saw the ugliest woman he had ever seen. She stood well over six feet tall; her smeared red lipstick looked like it had been applied by Jackson Pollock ; a bright yellow wig perched on her pate like a load of straw on a camel’s hump; the huge fingers of her ham sized hands were capped with shocking pink nail polish; the entire 220 pound package was perched on red gondola size stiletto heels.
“My God,” he gasped in horror at this vision from EHarmony hell.
“Mike, it’s me, Dickie!’ , she said, “I’ve decided to change my luck and become a broad. I’m Virginia now, but you can call me Ginny.” This particular woman, he thought, made Grendel’s mother look like Aunt Bea.
He stared closely and beneath the make-up, cheap dress, and cheaper accessories, he could make out the course, ugly features of Richard Cosgrove.
He stood in stunned silence. “Those shoes don’t really go with that dress,” was all he could think to say.
“Yeah, I know. I’m just getting the hang of this.”
He had known and disliked Cosgrove for a long time. Both served on the village fire company; he as a conscientious fireman and company financial officer, Richard as resident loud mouth and hanger on.
He had an opinion, always an ill-informed and stupid one, about everything.
He was a Republican of the neo-Nazi variety who thought all Democrats were “gay” and the President “should be strung up.” He was the last person in the world one would expect to be getting in touch with his human side, much less his feminine one.
He knew Cosgrove had a wife, Nancy. He knew this because one night she called the firehouse to report that their 160 pound Labrador retriever had died, and its enormous carcass was blocking the only exit from the trailer in which they lived. Richard was “travelling on business,” and she could not get out. He and Emmett Young responded and passed a rope through the trailer window that she tied to the dog’s collar. They pulled the corpse out of the way and opened the door. They were greeted with a wave of stench that caused them both to lose their suppers. She had neglected to tell them the dog had died three days ago.
“How does Nancy feel about this?”, he asked, as though he cared.
“She left me,” was all he said in response.
Nobody knew exactly what Richard did for a living. He said he was in landscaping and called himself an “enterpenooor.” Nancy, a Wal-Mart clerk, had the job in the family.
“Why this, Richard. In God’s name, why this?”
“ I need to find some rich old gay guy to take care of me in my old age,” he responded.
Gay is the last thing he would call anyone who would find Richard attractive; severely depressed with terminal self-esteem issues was more like it.
“Mike, I'm desperate. I don’t have Social Security or Medicare, my back is shot, I’m getting old, and Big Old Dick has been feelin puny lately. I’d be willing to get butt-diddled if it'll put a solid roof over my head.”
Big Old Dick was his pet name for his penis and he frequently referred to it in conversations. Some time back, the vice-president of the local bank made a presentation to the company on maximizing their investments. Cosgrove raised his hand and said: “Hey, sister, my Big Old Dick would really like to make a deposit with you.” It took months to find a bank willing to handle their account.
“Well, I have to leave now for my waxing appointment. Nice running into you.”
With that, Richard turned and wobbled toward the door his enormous behind jiggling like a sack full of angry raccoons.
“What in God’s name do you make of that?,” he asked Randy.
“As my wife always says: ‘In this life, there is someone for everyone.’ “