One aspect of co-writing with the very talented Eden Baylee which I don’t think has occurred to me before is that choosing to create a story with a female narrator might present me with problems. In the event, it didn’t. We hope you like it.
Prompt: I decided the only solution was to seduce him.
Parts 1 and 3 BK
Parts 2 and 4 EB
My strike rate with men is pathetic. In fact, it’s non-existent. I spend a fortune on clothes, perfumes, make-up… I’ve even enrolled in French evening classes. I suppose I’m hoping I’ll be able to use that thing there is about Frenchness that seems to lead naturally to romance. No, not romance, sex.
Things have been this way ever since primary school. None of the boys in my classes ever tried any of the fumblings with me that the other girls described and giggled about. Even when, quite early, I started to grow breasts, no one ever asked about them or tried to touch them. I’ll be 24 this month and I’m getting desperate. It’s all very well having chastity, but when you decide to get rid of it, you don’t really know where to start, and you do things that seem crazy. So far, I haven’t been stupid enough to try any advances to colleagues at work. I fancy some of them right enough, and not even the obvious ones that Delia, Jane and the others fantasise about over coffee. No, the ones I prefer are the wimpy weirdoes who’ve got as little going for them sexually as I have.
I met up with Kim for our regular Sunday morning walk. She with her Golden and me with my mutt, a stray from the local animal shelter. The six-year-old Pit mix had been abandoned and about to be euthanized until I came along. Maybe I related to the rejection he’d experienced, or maybe I thought a dog could make me more interesting to men. Whatever it was, I adopted him and named him Lucky.
That was three months ago, and he’s changed my world. I never thought I could fall in love with a dog, but here I was, walking him and picking up his shit. I even knitted him a little cap with the initial ‘L’ on it, for when the weather got cooler.
“You don’t need a man now that you’ve got Lucky!” Kim said. Her dog, Paddy, pulled her along the ravine. He knew the path; it was quiet and deserted this time of day. We let the dogs off leash and watched them run ahead of us.
“I’m looking for sex, not just a companion. If I could have sex with a dog, I would’ve done that by now!”
“Well … you can …”
I’d been strolling a few yards ahead of her when she said that. I thought I’d misheard but when I turned to respond, the way she was standing and the look on her face made me suspect that she really had said it and it was meant to challenge me.
“What d’you mean? I asked.
She just shrugged.
Paddy had been foraging ahead but now came back and looked up at her, his tail flicking lazily. I looked at the two of them and shook my head.
“You mean you and him?” I said.
Again the shrug.
I frowned. I couldn’t work out what was going on. I mean she seemed serious. And I admit it was a pretty good-looking animal. But sex? Really? And, if so, how?
She bent and scratched between his ears. His tail lashed more furiously and he rubbed his side along her leg.
“It depends what you want,” she said.
The trouble is, I was desperate and more or less wanted whatever I could get. But not with a dog.
I looked at poor scruffy Lucky and decided the only solution was to seduce him. It might be OK as long as I didn’t get pregnant.
Kim burst out laughing. “You’re so gullible, Linda! Did you really think I was serious?”
My thoughts suddenly evaporated. “Of course not, I’m not that desperate!”
“Look, it’d be nice if you met someone with a dog. Men with dogs are better humans. They’re more sensitive.”
“Take my brother, for instance. He’s much nicer since he adopted a dog.”
“So why haven’t you introduced me to him?”
“I can’t win, can I?” We picked up the pace to catch up to Lucky chasing a squirrel.
“The dating app? I don’t know, makes me seem easy.”
“Easy?” Kim scoffed. “You can’t be easy if you’ve never been laid. Stop overthinking it.”
That evening after dinner, I relaxed in front of the TV. A movie called Tinder Swindler on Netflix caught my eye. The title already gave away the storyline. Scammers everywhere, and they scared me. Just then, Lucky jumped up beside me and rested his paw on my lap. He stared at me with his big puppy-dog eyes and licked my face.
Fuck it. What was life without trying something new?
I picked up my phone and downloaded the Tinder app.