Cheese on Apple Pie

{Started for a prompt, Fiction Friday, @ The Rattling Bones, I took too long for submission that week. The goal: to write 500 to 1000 words detailing the dangerous adventure of a 60 year old man, a teenager, or both. Here it is as a stand-alone.}

Mandy stood on the corner, shivering more from fear than the cold. Panhandling just hadn’t worked out. She hadn’t eaten in two days. So it came down to this. She stole clothes and chunky jewelry from Goodwill, makeup from a dollar store. She transformed herself in a gas station bathroom and hit the street, for the very first time. At 16, she had already lived a hard life. Hitched into the city and there she was, on the street, scared. The skirt barely covered her ass. The top sliced down to her navel. Long legs ended in high heeled leather boots. She tottled on the heels, almost spraining her left ankle on the way to the corner.

She felt a hand on her shoulder. “Here we go” she thought. “I’m Glenn.” He was  an example of the boomers 60 being the new 40. He had a lop-sided smile, and the most marvelous eyes. Touch of grey in his dark hair. Black leather jacket, t-shirt and jeans. “Must have girls after him. Why a hooker – kinks I guess,”  Mandy thought.

“Come on,” he said, “let’s take a walk, Mandy.” “Okay” He must like it in the alley. No alleys, just a small diner. “Hey, Joe, two coffees, two apple pies with cheese on top.”

He passed her a crunkled paper bag.  “Why don’t you get cleaned up.”  Glenn seem to have a spell over her; she took the bag without question into the bathroom. She opened it, curiosity over caution. On top, was a face cloth, towel and soap. She washed away the horrid makeup. She wasn’t really a hooker. She was just a girl a long way from home.  A place she wouldn’t go back to.

Once the horrid makeup was wiped away, she looked into the bag again. Undergarments, clothes – just her size – and a pair converse in purple. Wow. Her survival brain kicked in. He knew too much about her. How could he know her name,  the cheese on the pie, her clothes size. “Must be a stalker, a serial killer, too.” Mandy thought of running for it.

No matter how freaky, she was hungry.  When she emerged from the bathroom she looked like a 16 year old minus the iPhone and ear buds. Her brown hair parted in the middle fell below her shoulders. Without the thick make-up, there was a scatter of freckles across her nose. She put back on the John Lennon glasses hidden in her purse and every thing came into focus. The diner, Glenn, Joe wiping the counter down. She slide cautiously into the booth. Joe had brought Glenn’s order. The two pies were for her.

As she gobbled the pies, and swigged down the coffee, Glenn talked. She couldn’t remember what he said; not the words, not the flow. But it soothed her. Made her feel safe. Made her feel loved. Feelings she never got at home.

One more place that night.  The crunkled bag hit the dumpster with an echoing thud.  She slipped her arm into his. Mandy wasn’t sure how far they wandered. They stood in front of a plain house with wildflowers for a front lawn. Paint was peeling from the porch and door. Windows were lit with a soft light. They climbed the steps groaning from the weight. Glenn made some sort of secret knock. The door’s hinges protested as a girl, not much older than her, carefully peeked out. “Oh its you, Glenn. Looks you have yourself another stray.  I’ll get Wendy.”

Six girls, all teenagers, lolled in the living room. They muted the reality show they were laughing about to be introduced to Mandy. Then back to the show. Yelps and hoots of laughter.

A woman, wiping her hands on a towel, emerged from the kitchen. Dressed all in black with a slight shuffle to her walk, she smiled at Mandy. She was the female mirror Glen, the lop-sided grin, hypnotic and strangely colored eyes.  “Sis, any room at the inn?”

“Always, little brother,” she said. “She can sleep on the couch.” Turning to Mandy she asked “Hope you aren’t the early to bed type.”

When Mandy turned to thank Glen for food and shelter, he was gone. No foot steps, no screech of rusty hinges. No groaning steps.

“Glenn started with stray cats and dogs, then moved on the people, the strays out in the grimy, crummy world. He always knew who to pick. Even after he died.” his sister said a wistful tone to her voice.

{word count: 751}

© Phylor, 2015


6 thoughts on “Cheese on Apple Pie

  1. afairymind June 9, 2015 / 5:48 pm

    I love this! Even as a ghost Glenn keeps on helping the strays. Mandy’s lucky he found her when he did. Her life could have become so much more unpleasant. Really well done. :)


    • phylor June 10, 2015 / 12:08 am

      Thank you.
      Sometimes I wonder where the ideas come from. My muse must have been back from her latest spa vacation.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. summerstommy2 June 8, 2015 / 8:53 pm

    Why did I think as I rad this that there would be a wonderful sense of sadness and rescue about this story. Excellent tale you really nailed this one friend.


    • phylor June 10, 2015 / 12:05 am

      Thank you.
      I had most of it written, but knew it needed some refining. The ghost story worked it’s way in — maybe it knew I all along?
      I wanted a happy ending, but I couldn’t just have it happen without sometime more taking place. :-D


  3. phylor June 8, 2015 / 12:34 pm

    Thank you. Your prompt provided a perspective I’d never really explored before. Your prompts are nicely challenging.


  4. loricarlson66 June 8, 2015 / 6:17 am

    Ooooo! A ghostly encounter! I love it! You did a great job with this Phylor… great characterization, setting, descriptions… amazing writing!


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