Wool

On their third date, Candace and Michael were still getting used to seeing each other without masks. They grinned at each other constantly all through dinner until Candace pointed out a seed stuck in Michael’s teeth. She laughed so hard at his panicked expression that water squirted out of her nose.

Michael had been mortified, but Candace still invited him back to her apartment for drinks. “You look warm,” she remarked. “Why don’t you take off that sweater?” She indulged herself in a quick peek at his narrow hips and flat stomach as his undershirt pulled up with the sweater, but then he started writhing awkwardly, stuck halfway with the sweater covering his head. With one forceful tug, Candace freed him from his woolen constraint, but the static electricity left tufts of his hair standing on end.

“What is it?” he asked as Candace stifled a giggle.

“Nothing,” she insisted, leaning forward to kiss him. A bolt of static electricity crackled between their puckered lips and both jumped, clutching their mouths.

Then Candace started giggling.

Michael’s shoulders slumped. “I guess I should go,” he sighed.

“No!” Candace said. “Stay! This is the best date I’ve had in a long time.”

     *     *     *

Story by Gregory M. Fox
Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay

Date

Serena grinned enticingly as she set her empty glass on the bar. “Why don’t we take this back to your place?”

“I’d love to,” Phil said staring into his own glass, “but I’m not sure it’s a good idea.”

“Oh.”

“But what about your place?” he offered hastily.

Serena’s brow furrowed, then her eyes went wide. “Oh no,” she gasped. “You’re married.”

“What? No.”

“But thereissomeone else.”

“Not . . . really.”

Serena shook her head in disbelief. “I’m an idiot,” she said gathering up her jacket and purse. “I have to get out of here.”

“She’s not—” Phil winced. “I mean, I can explain.”

But Serena was already on her way to the door. “Don’t bother,” she called without even looking back.

Fifteen minutes later, Phil opened the door to his dark apartment and turned on the lights.

“Your back early,” a woman’s voice remarked.

“I know,” he grunted.

A spectral figure glided into view. She was dressed in rags, her skin was cracked and crumbling, nothing but two deep pits for eyes. “So how did it go?” she asked.

“Like you care.”

The ghost considered, then shrugged. “Turn on the TV. I want to watch Great British Bake Off.”

     *     *     *

Story by Gregory M. Fox