“To answer your question, yes, I am gay. Why not? I mean, aren’t you so hot no straight man could resist you? So why don’t you just believe what you need to believe and go away. You’re probably scaring away someone I might want to be around.”
The little blonde with the massive chest hopped off the barstool and scampered out the door like a field mouse retreating to a hole in the ground.
Tony ignored the glares of several men, who were no doubt angry that he’d chased away what they considered the top prospect in the bar. He wanted to return to nursing his Martini and making eyes at the creature on the other side of the room, but he was severely dejected to see she was no longer sitting there.
“That was very rude of you.”
He turned back to see the woman he wanted was sitting on the stool the other woman had vacated.
“How did you sneak up on me like that?” he asked.
“I’m crafty,” she said, lowering her head a little and looking up in a way that drove him crazy. “But you shouldn’t have done that to that poor woman. I mean, what female can resist a young man like yourself? I saw you turn away five women that any other guy in this bar would have separated one of his beanies from his weenie to have for a night.”
He laughed. “I know. It’s just that it gets really old. I’m not attracted to women my age, and they’re not used to rejection, so they can’t take a hint.”
She seemed amused, and he thought he was in. Of course, he almost always was, unless the woman just couldn’t get past the age difference.
“I know who you are,” she said.
“Yup. You’re Tony Grapho. I knew your father and your grandfather too. Awful men.”
Tony smirked. “Miss, I’d argue with you, but neither of them ever did a thing I could build a case on.”
“You’re right, and they hurt a lot of young women.”
“I’m sure they did.”
Looking at her face now, Tony was concerned. She looked as if she were assessing him in some way.
“Listen, I’m not like them. I know I was rude to that woman, but it wasn’t that I wanted to hurt her as much as I just needed her to go away. It’s not just that I’m not attracted to young women; I’m thoroughly repulsed by them. I don’t like the way they look, the way they smell, or the way their skin feels. Everything about them makes me want to puke.”
“But you like me.”
“Yes, I like older women. I’ve never even been with anyone under the age of fifty.”
The woman laughed.
“I know it’s weird, but I’m serious,” he said.
“I know you are, dear. It’s just that I think I should tell you something.”
“I’m the reason you’re not attracted to younger women.”
“I know. You’re perfect. You’re refined and dignified, and the look in your eyes is so calm.”
“No, dear. I’m not speaking generally about women my age. I’m saying I, personally, caused your repulsion to younger women.”
Sure she was messing with him, Tony smiled and said, “How did you do that?”
“I cursed you.”
“Yes. Your father was an only child, and so were you. Thus, by making you attracted to only post-menopausal women, I made it very unlikely that you would pass on the genetic trait that makes men in your linage hurt young women.”
Tony was impressed by her story and impressed by how much information she had on him.
“You don’t believe me,” she asserted.
“Well, it’s kind of hard to, because I don’t believe in magic.”
“Not even a little.”
She pointed. “You see that woman over there by the jukebox.”
He turned and looked. The woman beside him snapped her fingers, and he couldn’t believe what happened.
Tony shook his head, trying to get it straight, but the motion didn’t change his lust.
“I can’t believe it. She’s young, and I want her.”
He turned back to the woman beside him, and now she was the one who repulsed him, but only for a few seconds. She snapped her fingers again. Instantly, she was beautiful to him. He turned back to jukebox woman, who was thin, young, and repulsive.
He looked down. He thought of his curse. He could live with never having a child of his own, but he had been shamed many times for having such strange tastes. He became infuriated.
“I should . . .” He couldn’t finish.
She laughed. “You should what?”
He sighed. “I guess I should just run out of here like that woman I just shot down did.”
She laughed again and put a hand on his leg. “Maybe you should, but I bet you won’t.”
He knew she was right. He couldn’t help it. She was too perfect.
About the Author
Joshua Scribner is the author of the novels The Coma Lights and Nescata. His fiction won both second and fifth place in the 2008 Whispering Spirits Flash Fiction contest. Up to date information on his work can be found at joshuascribner.com. Joshua currently lives in Michigan with his wife and two daughters.