Dinner was already in progress as they entered the glass-enclosed back porch. The view of the shimmering lake and rising moon were breathtaking. A large dining room table ran the length of the porch. It was covered from one end to the other with several exotic foods on silver trays, rivaling any five-star feast. The Tiki torches filled the room with soft, dancing orange light.

Malcolm stood before a vacant seat at the head of the table, motioning for Tony and Gina to stand on either side of him.

There were several characters in attendance, drinking and eating heartily, laughing and carrying on several conversations at once.

Malcolm had to raise his voice above the ruckus to be heard. “Doesn’t anyone show consideration to their host anymore? You’re all a pack of rude savages!”

Several of the men, dressed in fine attire, lifted their wine glasses and shouted, “Savages!” Others pounded enthusiastically upon the table for effect. The ladies laughed loudly, the wine helping them along.

Gina and Tony gave each other a bemused look, obviously not understanding the inside joke.

To Gina, they reminded her of well-dressed Vikings at the Mad Hatter’s tea party. She covered her mouth to keep a smile from escaping at the thought of this image.

Several got up and greeted Malcolm, Gina and Tony with hugs, kisses and hearty handshakes before returning to their seats. Gina and Tony were confused by the ease in which these odd strangers welcomed them to their table.

“Well, well, look who finally decided to show up!” roared a robust looking gentleman from the other end of the table. The man was bald with a well-trimmed grey beard and a black eye patch over one eye. He wore a naval officer’s dress uniform several sizes too small, his chest loaded with ribbons of service and accomplishments. “The man considers the term ‘host’ to mean ‘late as hell’,” he added loudly, speaking to the petite woman on his left.

The woman with long, jet-black hair, and breasts too large for such a small body hanging half out of the stunning gold dress she barely wore, whispered something into the man’s ear causing him to blush. She was easily half his age and could be mistaken for his daughter.

Malcolm bowed gracefully to the one-eyed man and responded, “Welcome, my good Captain Bellington, I never tire of hearing those sweet sounds of rich sarcasm filling my ears with joy!” He then added to the woman on his left, “And to you, Mrs. Bellington, you are as ravishing and enigmatic as ever.”

Mrs. Bellington reached for her wine glass, leaned back revealing a grander view of her high-priced cleavage, and then took a long seductive sip, finishing with a mischievous wink that found Tony.

Gina shifted uncomfortably.

Captain Bellington dismissed Malcolm’s flirtatious banter with the wave of his hand. “Save your theatrical tongue for the ladies,” he said. “As you can see, neither I nor Madeline, fit that bill.” He laughed, earning him a sharp look from his wife.

This scene caused a fresh round of laughter about the table.

“My friends, I want to thank you all for coming. As the captain has pointed out, I am sorry for my less-than-punctual arrival, but I assure you… I had just cause.” Malcolm motioned toward Gina and Tony and finished, “Ladies and gentleman, I would like to introduce you to my guests: Tony Marcuchi and the sensational Gina Melborn. You may know her better as the alluring, Fire and Ice.”

This caught the attention of several men, who were quick to feign ignorance before their surprised recognition rewarded them suspicious glares from their wives.

“I have to hand it to you, Malcolm,” a man midway down the table started, “I didn’t believe you when you said she would be performing tonight. This is one time it pays to be wrong.”

“Why thank you, Gerald. I’m glad you could make it on such short notice. What happened to San Francisco?”

“My trip was canceled by… complications.” Gerald’s irritation was easily apparent. He quickly added, while undressing the stripper with his eyes, “But it would seem that my canceled trip was a blessing in disguise.”

Gina caught Gerald’s glance and his subtle intent. Instantly transformed in to meat, she hated the man.

Looking away from Gina’s cold stare, Gerald drank some wine and then toasted his host. “To you, Malcolm. Thanks for the open-ended invitation, and for salvaging what would’ve been a tragic weekend for me.”

“You are most welcome,” Malcolm said.

“You hear that slithering tongue? Sounds like lawyer talking.” Captain Bellington laughed, taking a shot at Gerald.

Gerald laughed in return, raising his glass to the captain, “You got me there, sir. Guilty as charged.” The wine was numbing his volatile temper this evening. However, Gerald still wanted to take the base of his wine glass and poke out that fat fuck’s other eye.

Malcolm took his two guests on a tour around the table, exposing them to some of North East Ohio’s upper class citizens. They met a couple of doctors, two college deans, various CEO’s of companies who will remain nameless, several politicians, a motivational speaker, two established book authors, a television producer, a marketing executive, a professional soccer player, and several others from various professions. Gina suspected that no one in attendance used their real names, no one except Captain Bellington, who was retired from the Navy. Even the despicable lawyer, Gerald, used a fictitious last name that Malcolm confirmed.

“Yes, my dear, most of my guests prefer the ease of incognito,” Malcolm said. “It makes them feel like they can let it all hang out without being under scrutiny of the public eye. Not to mention, due to the unique nature of our gatherings, I’ve found it’s best to protect the privacy of all my guests. Very few outside this room would understand our unified celebration of spirit.”

“And what exactly does that mean?” Gina asked.

Malcolm simply smiled and said, “Soon, my dear… very soon.”

After being ambushed by the males in attendance, each trying to impress Gina by their long list of successes (translating into an upscale version of ‘who’s cock was the biggest’), Gina rescued Tony from the half-intoxicated females who looked for any excuse to fondle his muscles.

By 2:30 am, Gina and Tony were finally allowed to sit, feeling less on display, as they were given a moment’s peace to eat as conversations from around the table picked up where they had left off before arriving.

Malcolm whispered to Gina from between them, “My dear, I think they are intimidated by your… fame, which is fortunately keeping their interrogations at bay. Well done to you both. I think they like you.” He quickly left them to mingle with his other guests.

“And here I thought it was my big fucking muscles that scared them off,” Tony said, shaking his head in mock disappointment.

Gina shot him a look. “I can’t take you anywhere.”

“It’s the man-boobs, isn’t it? They’re just not as perky or pretty or-”

“Shut up,” she hissed.

“Speaking of which, I’m starting to think that Malcolm’s a plastic surgeon. There’s not a single woman here with a normal set.”

“I’m starting to think you have a thing against them, you know,” Gina said while devouring a dish of calamari.

“What, these folks? No, I hate the rich equally.” Tony took a long sip of wine.

“No… I’m talking about boobs.”

“I don’t hate boobs! It’s just that you can’t talk to a single woman in here without knowing where to put your eyeballs.”

“Would you please just shut up and eat.”

“They obviously want them to be noticed. I mean… if you look, you’re a pig, right? But in this case, if you don’t, you’re likely to offend these broads. So you see… I’m screwed either way. It’s a fucking booby-trap!”

Gina choked on a piece of calamari. “Finished yet?”

“I’m just getting started, gorgeous,” he said with a wink. Tony handed her a glass. “Here, drink some water.”

She took a sip. “Asshole.”

“The plastic chicks are all over me tonight. You may have that fancy name, Gina, but I’ve got the muscles. Don’t get upset if I steal your thunder… it’s nothing personal.”

“I’m not worried. I’ve still got these,” Gina said, drawing Tony’s eyes to her cleavage. “All natural, fuck-stick.”

Tony quickly looked elsewhere. “Could you pass the salt?”

“That’s what I thought.”

“Excuse me?”

“Nothing.” Gina smiled.

Somewhere during the course of conversations, Tony noticed Malcolm discreetly walk into another room and return with an ancient looking pipe. On closer inspection, Tony observed that it was made of treated wood, roughly half a foot long, with strange markings painted all around it.

Malcolm removed a lighter from his pants pocket, lit the end of the pipe and inhaled from the other end.

Tapping Gina’s hand, Tony pointed to Malcolm and said, “Looks like the chief’s having a pow-wow.”

Gina watched Malcolm take a second hit off the pipe and then hand it to the closest guest at the table.

“Oh, this can’t be good,” Gina said.

“What, the weed? I bet it’s damn good,” Tony teased.

“Shut up, pot-head. They’re passing it around the table.”

“I was hoping you’d say that.”

Gina shot him a look, “Some fucking watchdog you are!”

“What? It is a party after all.”

“What do we do?”

“Take a hit and pass it on. Damn girl, didn’t you ever go to high school?”

“I’m making a big deal out of nothing, aren’t I?”


“You didn’t have to agree so fucking fast.”

“Okay, never mind. I’ll take your hit for you.”

“You will certainly not!”

“Women!” Tony said, throwing his arms into the air.

“Men!” Gina mocked.

Tony ran out of argument, and then blurted out, “Boobs!”

This briefly raised the eyes of several guests.

Tony stared at his fork as if it were the most interesting object he’d ever seen.

Gina laughed and said, “You’re an idiot.”

And there it was, offered to her by Malcolm, himself. “I assure you, my dear, you will enjoy this.”

Gina received the pipe and simply stared at it. “This is well-crafted,” she said, attempting to stall.

Tony tried to hold back a snicker.

Malcolm nodded in understanding. “It’s okay, Gina, you can just pass it on. No one will be offended if you do.” He walked away, making her feel like a child.

“That fucker,” she mumbled, taking a deep hit off the pipe. She held it in while passing it to Tony.

Tony took a deep hit and coughed fiercely.

“Amateur,” Gina said with satisfaction.

Tony handed the pipe to the marketing executive on his right. That was when both Gina and Tony noticed everyone staring at them.

Tony looked to Gina, and then back at the amused executive and said, “That’s some good shit.”

This brought roaring laughter from the entire table as Tony felt like he’d passed some silent initiation from a brief return to adolescence.

Gina placed her face in her hands and shook her head. “Oh, Tony, what am I going to do with you?” In truth, she could think of several things.

By 3:00 am, the mysterious pipe had made several revolutions around the table. Gina and Tony, intending to simply pass it each time, found themselves taking several more hits instead.

It was good shit.

As Malcolm reclaimed his position at the head of the table, he simply smiled at his guests, all of who were much more relaxed, much more liberated, much more aroused.

“Tony,” Gina said. “I think I’m stoned.”

Tony cupped his mouth and then laughed as if she’d told the funniest joke in the world.

This got Gina rolling as well.

She could feel her body reacting to the marijuana, laced with several other ingredients. Her heart was pounding in her ears. Her body pulsated with heat waves that rippled up and down her body. She felt a pleasant tickling sensation in the sensitive areas between her legs, her nipples, and warmth around her mouth. She focused on Tony, feeling all her senses stimulated, feeling as though she could reach out and embrace him fiercely just by thought alone.

In the background, Malcolm was addressing everyone. She registered his voice like someone speaking from the other end of a long tunnel.

“My friends,” he began, “the moon is nigh. It is time for us to offer our thanks to the Father of Night, the Keeper of Passion, the Breather of Dreams and Sweet Release.”

As one, the guests ushered a heart-felt, “Amen!”

She could see a look of distress on Tony’s face. There was a strange blue aura around his head. Voices in the background sounded distorted in her mind, like overlapping echoes. She felt hot. No sweat. Pulsating heat. Gina wanted him at that moment, wanted him to love her, wanted him to make love to her… endlessly.

Why are you so troubled, my love? She meant to ask.

She saw Tony stand up. There were arms on him now, guiding him gently away. He looked confused. He wanted to fight. He wanted to understand…

And then he was gone.

There was a darkness that filled her vision, it moved before her eyes like a dense fog. Gina began to panic as the hallucinations tried to overwhelm her.

There were hands on her shoulders, gently guiding her back—reassuring hands.

She looked up believing it would be Tony’s hands.

They were not.

“Rest easy, Gina. The drugs were much stronger than expected, I’m afraid. It will pass. Just relax and go with it, my dear,” Malcolm encouraged.

“Okay,” she said. “Feeling much better now. Thank you.”

“You’re very welcome.” His voice was so calming.

“Where… where is Tony?”

“Tony is fine. He’s resting. Are you ready?”

“Ready?” she asked.

“It’s time to dance, my dear. Can you still dance?”

“Yes,” Gina said. “I can dance.”


Next Episode 2-4

Previous Episode 2-2


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“Chapter 2-3: Dinner and a Movie” Copyright © 2014, 2015 Scott Scherr. From the Novel “Don’t Feed The Dark, Book One: Southbound Nightmares”.

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission by the author.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

  1. Jesse says:

    The marijuana scene was hilarious. While I was narrating it I laughed at several parts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jesse says:

    Loved this one, so many different characters to voice. Lots of fun!

    Liked by 1 person

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