My longtime readers should know by now that I love the mini-fiction events; a glimpse into the world, a story by a beloved side character, or an introduction to never before seen action – I love it all and can never get enough.
The Rust City Book Convention is returning to the Metro Detroit area, and to help spotlight the authors attending, I’m bringing back the exclusive mini-fiction feature – Hidden Treasures. I’ve asked the #RustCity17 authors to write a story, featuring any or all of their characters as they discover a new bit of treasure – i.e. at a flea market, up in the attic, tomb-raiding, etc.
How We Met Steven: A Bite Somebody Else Short
Imogene wrapped her pointed fingers (he swore her fingers were actually pointed) around his upper arm and dragged him further inside the night owl Florida flea market where tired-eyed old people pushed crooked shopping carts.
“Yeah, I know, but flea markets have the best retro clothes,” she said. “I once found a gold lamé pantsuit.”
Nicholas smirked. “Yes, but it smelled of piss and mothballs.”
She pressed her tongue against one of her fangs, which sent a familiar pang of animal lust right down his spine. “Not when I was done with it.”
“Done with it?” He wrapped his arms around her from behind. “That would suggest you no longer own it.”
“Oh, I don’t. It’s floating at the bottom of the Gulf somewhere.”
He chuckled into her purple hair and then stumbled as she lunged forward to play with a pile of aged platform shoes.
Nicholas caught the stares of random passerby as he watched his criminally attractive immortal girlfriend drool over some plaid pumps. Yes, he realized most flea market shoppers did not wear bespoke Spencer Hart suits that cost as much as a beachfront condominium, but he had yet to embrace Ian’s playful suggestion of cargo shorts and flip-flops.
Yeah. Over Nicholas’s undead body.
His wingtips tapped across a shiny gymnasium floor—the makeshift venue for nighttime Hoarder Heaven. A skinny old woman with tan arms sat behind a table covered in small potted plants and herbs. He nodded to her and leaned forward to smell fresh basil. Imogene was always saying he smelled like fresh basil.
The old lady whistled. “Well. Ain’t you a sweet thing?”
He smiled and inclined his head. “Madam.”
“From overseas, too.” The folding chair squeaked as she stood. “Is it true what they say about British boys? That you’re all plain filthy in bed?”
He choked a little before clearing his throat.
“Oh, it’s true.” Imogene appeared suddenly and licked his neck.
“Imogene,” he whispered and tried to hold her at arm’s length to no avail. For someone so skinny, she had the strength of a horny gorilla.
The old woman laughed—a gravelly cackle—before assisting a customer who poked and prodded at peppermint.
That was when he saw it: the small green bush, hidden behind the basil, wedged between two big flowerpots. He bumped his hip against Imogene’s. “Love.” He nodded. “Look.”
Imogene’s dark eyes glanced in the direction of his gaze. Then, her eyes widened. “Is that …?”
“Wonder how much she’s charging.” He grinned, something he’d been doing a lot of since meeting his morally reprehensible purple-haired sex goddess.
The plant in question was easy to miss if you didn’t know what you were looking for, but Nicholas knew—as did Imogene. They had to, being best friends with Ian and Celia, after all. The little green bush was obviously marijuana, what with its big, sharp leaves and fuzzy cones poking out from the stem. It was in alarmingly great shape, honestly, considering the piss-scented setting. It was certainly not something Nicholas would have expected to find at a flea market.
“Shall we?” Nicholas tucked his hands in his trouser pockets.
“Oh, my God, totally. I need that plant in my life.” Imogene grabbed his chin and mushed his lips together before leaning in for a wet peck. “I’m gonna name him Steven.” She’d been on a big Aerosmith kick lately. She’d even decided “Crazy” was their song. Nicholas was fonder of “Hot For Teacher,” ever since this one night when Imogene wore … Anyway, getting off topic.
“Excuse me, madam.”
The friendly old lady turned and smiled and winked. He thought she may have even shook her butt a little at him. Imogene didn’t bat an eye. She’d gotten over her jealousy thing months ago—not that she had anything to worry about, considering Imogene was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen … and he’d been around.
Nicholas balanced Steven in the palm of his hand. “How much for this?”
“Well, don’t you have good taste? I’ll take twenty.”
“I’ll give you thirty.”
The woman pshawed and blushed like a schoolgirl.
“You can be disgustingly charming sometimes,” Imogene said right against his ear.
He handed the woman her cash while she put Steven in a tall paper bag. Imogene clawed for their new purchase like it was a bag of top shelf blood. Nicholas expected her to keep shopping, but instead, she wrapped those pointed fingers around his wrist and dragged him toward the exit.
“What about new retro clothes?” he asked.
“The only clothes I want right now are yours. On the floor at my house. Then, we’ll get to know Steven.”
He spun her around when they reached her black convertible and kissed her the way they always kissed: with lots of tongue and one of her long legs wrapped around his hip.
“Home then?” A cool night breeze doused them in the salty scent of nearby sea.
“Yes.” Her hands fondled the front of his suit. “You filthy thing.”
“I’ve got nothing on you.”
She busted out in her famed Butthead chuckle and jumped into her car. Nicholas followed. He would follow her anywhere.
Meet Sara Dobie Bauer!
Sara Dobie Bauer is a writer, model, and mental health advocate with a creative writing degree from Ohio University. Her short story, “Don’t Ball the Boss,” was nominated for the Pushcart Prize, inspired by her shameless crush on Benedict Cumberbatch. She lives with her hottie husband and two precious pups in Northeast Ohio, although she’d really like to live in a Tim Burton film. She is a member of RWA and author of the paranormal rom-com Bite Somebody, among other ridiculously entertaining things.
Want to purchase Sara’s novels?
Don’t miss your chance to meet some amazing authors at Rust City Book Con next August! Come join us as we celebrate the authors who write the stories we love to read in the Motor City! Early-bird registration is open until 11:59pm EST on 3/31/2017!