Tey Holden



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“I don’t know how is it that you convince me every year to do something for Halloween!” Even though they had agreed to celebrate Halloween every year to commemorate the holiday that brought them together, it was normal for Casey to complain about any Halloween plan.

 “Well, let’s see, it usually starts when the field mouse is deep into its burrow and the praying begins, and right before you scream my name. Does that answer your question?” Emm’s eyes twinkled mischievously.

Casey grinned as she loaded the suitcase into the SUV. When she sat in the driver’s seat, she looked to Emm only to meet the caramel eyes and the smile that always made her heat beat harder.

“Smart ass!” She smiled as she started the car.

“Okay, just got a text from Patsy, she and Dana just left.” Emm then put her phone down on the console between the seats.

“Oh, goodie! On top of it all, this year we have company in our misery.”

“Shut up Cas, we always have fun with those two.”

“Dana is very weird, always regretting anything she eats because she’s going to put on an once of fat. She’s the only skinny person I’ve ever known that is concerned about weight gain. I mean, a woman who could very well put on twenty pounds and no one would even notice.”

“Well, Cas, for all we know she might have been heavy growing up and now she’s watching what she eats for fear of going back to her old ways.”

“Did I hear right the other day when she said her parents fed her unhealthy food, among which was milk? Since when is milk bad?”

“Well, the lactose—“

“No Emmy, I know about lactose, but it’s just that she makes it sound as if they were feeding her lard!”

“Well, yeah, she’s odd, I grant you that much.”

“How come we end up being friends with such odd people? Because Patsy is another case to study! What’s with her being on a timer? She gets up at the crack of dawn everyday to walk the neighborhood. I’m surprised no one has called the cops on her thinking that she might be casing houses. And then she can’t eat until a certain time, and then her breakfast is a yogurt, nuts and a pitcher of coffee. Have you noticed how much coffee she drinks? If that is not crazy, I don’t know what is! And she’s got Dana on a timer also. ”

Emm laughed. “Well, Dana needs time to get herself ready.”

“Ready for what?” Casey asked as they went down the ramp to the Interstate.

“She says that she needs at least an hour to put on her make up and blow dry her hair and get herself ready in the mornings.”

“Are you kidding me? What does she do? Reconstructive surgery?”

Emm laughed. “I don’t know. I usually take longer than you, and I’m done in fifteen minutes. Anyway, they are fun and are always the ones wanting to do something.”

 Cape Lorton in October did not appear to be the liveliest town on the east coast. As they drove deeper into it, they became aware of the deserted streets. “Where is everybody?” Emm asked.

“Honey, I hate to tell you, but this is a beach town and it’s October. It’s not like you’d find many beach goers this time of the year.” Casey remarked.

“Yes, but I expected a lot of maybe older folks and younger couples roaming around doing some preholiday shopping. I don’t even see many shops.”

“Umm, well, we can ask what to do at the hotel or maybe there’s a visitor center. Small towns always have one of those to direct people to attractions to try and make a dollar on everything. They might even have a ghost tour. Aren’t you a ghost lover?”

“You will never drop that would you?” Emm, who had been looking out the window for signs of any action in town, turned to face Cas.

“Nope! You were the one dancing with ghosts last year. Dancing with ghosts,” she laughed. “Do you get it? Instead of dancing with wolves?” Casey was referring to an encounter with a family of alleged ghosts they had met last Halloween at a pumpkin patch.

“Ha, ha, very funny, Miss Cas! Oh! I just got a text from Dana. They are at the bed and breakfast already.”

“What’s the name of the place?”

“The Mariner’s. You’ll love it. It’s this beautiful Victorian four floor house with a widow’s walk and more than twenty rooms.” Emm explained.

“What’s a widow’s walk?”

Emm turned to face Casey as she spoke. “It’s a look out post on top of the houses. They are common in coastal towns. It’s said that fishermen’s wives would go up there to watch for their spouses’ return, often in vain, as the ocean took the men and left them widows.”

“That is one sad story.”

“Yes, but that’s why those look-out posts are called that. Oh, look! It’s them. Pull up.”

They got out of the car and greeted each other. “Looks like we are the only ones here,” Dana said.

“You mean in town or the B&B?” Although Casey’s question was rhetorical, Emm gave her the warning look.

“The town looks a bit deserted doesn’t it? I can’t wait to see it all.” Patsy observed.

Casey looked around and was about to open her mouth when she met the eyes that she was too familiar with not to understand their every look. This time the eyes had the ‘keep your mouth shut’ look.

“I’ve been looking at some brochures for places to eat.” The moment Dana made her statement, Emm’s eyes shifted to Casey, who immediately recognized the look.

“I’m glad you did your homework, Dana. With all the work I’ve had lately, I didn’t have time to look at anything and was just glad to get away.” Emm walked side by side with Dana into the B&B to check in. A very happy Patsy followed behind them, with Casey being the last one to go up the porch steps. What the hell did we get ourselves into with these two in this creepy town? This is going to be another Halloween fiasco, I just know it.

“Hello ladies, welcome to the Mariner’s Motel! My name is Etta.” The cheerful woman at the desk made them feel good immediately.

“I thought this was a bed and breakfast and not a motel.” Casey stated.

“It was a bed and breakfast in the old days, but it’s now a motel.”

“So, no breakfast?” Dana asked. Emm and Casey looked at each other. Although she was on what appeared to be a constant strict diet, Dana was always concerned about where to get the next meal.

“No. I’m afraid not. All we offer is coffee here in the lobby area. The machine is on the table and the coffee cups and all the fixings are next to it.”

“Oh well, it will have to do. I’m sure that we can find a place to eat breakfast in town. We have a reservation under—.” Dana was not allowed to finish her sentence.

“Yes, we have been expecting you. You are the only people checking in today.” Etta’s smile was contagious as she made the announcement. Casey and Emm’s eyes met and Emm smiled sweetly. The effect was, as usual, all Casey needed to melt. She took a step forward and discretely took Emm’s hand, a gesture that was immediately rewarded when Emm reciprocated by squeezing her hand.

“I have you in the apartment with two rooms on the left wing.” Etta announced.

“Since there appears to not be many people checking in, would it be possible if you upgraded us to maybe separate rooms, or suites?” Casey asked wanting to be as far as possible from their ridiculous friends.  

“No, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

“But you said there’s no one else arriving and there are no other cars in the parking lot.” Casey pressed on.

“It’s just that the other rooms are not ready. Only this apartment is available.” Etta reiterated.

“We’ll take it.” Emm preempted any further comment from Casey.

“Very well, here are your keys. The apartment is on the second floor to the left.”

“Are there any attractions in town that we should go see?” Patsy asked with her usual enthusiasm.

“Oh you have to go to the town mall for the shops. It’s a street closed to traffic, kind of like a pedestrian walkway.”

“How about restaurant recommendations?” Dana asked. Emm squeezed Casey’s hand as a warning. Casey smiled and looked to Emm, who avoided the piercing blue eyes on her.

“Yes, the Omelet Hut for breakfast, and Canterbury for dinner. They are both very good, I’m told.” Etta replied.

 “Anything else? Maybe a ghost tour?” Casey looked to Emm, when she felt her hand squeezed in a not so pleasant grip again.

“Oh no, we don’t have ghost tours in town. Although some people claim that the ghost of Henrietta Simpson still appears some nights in October on the widow’s walk of the house.” 

 “Which house would that be? I’d like to check it out.” Patsy asked.

“It would be this house.” Etta announced.

Emm’s eyes immediately were wide open. “There’s a ghost in this house?” As she asked, she looked to Casey who had her lips pressed.

“Oh, no! That is just what people say.” Etta replied waving her hand in the air and combing her frizzy reddish hair back with her other hand.

“Now, you go on to your rooms, and if you need anything make sure and catch me before ten because that is when I go home, and we don’t have room or maid service, so make sure you have all you need in your rooms.”

Everyone smiled politely, took their keys and after saying their goodbyes left. “What a nice lady.” Dana proclaimed.

“Yes, I think I’m going to look for that widow’s walk tonight to see if I can catch a glimpse of Henrietta.” Patsy said in jest.

“You can do whatever you want. I’m not climbing up there for anything.” Casey said firmly.

“Me either, I’m not crazy about ghosts.” Emm said emphatically.

As they climbed the staircase, the steps squeaked below them. “These stairs need some repair.” Patsy commented.

“And cleaning.” Dana added.

“This feels creepy.” Emm stated as the steps continued to squeak below them as they climbed up the stairs.

“I just hope my allergies don’t flare up with all this dust in the air.” Emm chuckled when she heard Casey’s comment. Casey’s was a bit of a hypochondriac, fortunately kept under control by Emm’s expertise. Emm was a physician assistant and had been instrumental in toning down Casey’s imaginary illnesses. Ironically, the only times when Casey felt totally healthy and never had a single complaint about any ailment was when she was making love to Emm. Even though Emm would ask her about anything she might have complained about a few minutes earlier, in bed with her, Casey was the healthiest person on the planet.

“Don’t worry, I brought the medication for your allergies.” Emm stated knowing that Casey knew that her nasal spray was nothing more than saline solution, and that the medication Emm was talking about was her tender love and care that she would most likely provide later that evening. Casey smiled and continued to climb the stairs.

“Geez, this place could certainly use some updating. Everything looks so old.” Dana remarked as they reached the top landing and walked to the left wing of the house where their apartment was located.

“Look at those pictures. They look like museum material,” Emm commented.

Casey looked to the other side of the hallway and to the stairs leading to the upper floors. Everything was dark. “I think that in addition to being the only people checking in today, we may also be the only ones here.”

“So cool, to have the place all to ourselves!” Patsy stated with her usual absent-minded cheerfulness.

“And so romantic!” Dana added.

“How’s being alone in a dusty old hotel romantic?” Casey asked.

“Well, you have to admit that there’s a certain charm to it,” Emm noted.

“Why did we pick this place?” Casey asked while Patsy tried to open the room door unsuccessfully. There were cobwebs everywhere outside the door and in the hallway.

“Price, Casey, it was so much cheaper than the other places in town.” Dana replied. “You couldn’t possibly find two rooms for the price that we are paying here.”

Seeing that Patsy was having trouble opening the door, Casey took over. “Here, Patsy, let me try.” With a turn of the key and a push, the door opened. 

“Oh what a nice ample area.” Dana commented. As they walked in, Casey noticed the musty smell in the air. She had a nose to detect any scent immediately, and claimed that her allergies were due to her extreme sensitivity to anything in the air. She looked to Emm and wrinkled her nose. Emm immediately smiled getting her message related to the smell in the room.

“We should ventilate the room,” Emm proposed. “It feels like it’s been closed for a while.”

“Good luck opening windows! These look like they came with Noah in the ark.” Casey stated after trying to pull one open unsuccessfully.

“Let’s just run the fan,” Emm suggested, “that should filter the air.”

“Let’s go see our room, baby.” Patsy took Dana’s hand and pulled her towards one of the bedrooms. Casey looked at Emm and chuckled knowing exactly what Patsy had in mind.

Emm smiled hoping that the walls were thick enough so as to muffle the sounds of any bedroom activity. Casey read her mind and whispered in her ear, “did we bring earplugs?”

“Zorro behave. We have our own sounds to worry about.” Hearing Emm’s reply, Casey raised her eyebrows realizing that the night would be an interesting one. The bedrooms were small and separated only by the bathroom. The bed covers were ancient, but when they checked the sheets, they were impeccably clean, and so was the bathroom.

“It’s not luxury, but it’s very adequate.” Emm remarked, with everyone agreeing, except Casey, who remained quiet checking the kitchenette area of the apartment. Although everything was old, all was in working order.

After bringing up their luggage, they went out to tour the town. First going to the shops downtown and then finding a place to eat. Casey thought that dinner with Patsy was like watching a cooking show. She had to know about all of the ingredients that would be in whatever she selected, and still sometimes something had to be turned back because it failed to meet her requirement. Then she would chow down everything, but not before everyone knew that tomorrow she would do the corresponding workout to get rid of all the calories she’d eaten that evening. Casey always watched in awe all the specifics wondering how someone could live with so many requirements.

As they left the restaurant, they found all the shops closed and since there was nothing else to do in town, they went back to the motel. After talking about the beautiful Victorian houses they had seen, and taking turns to shower, they decided to go to sleep and embark on any further exploration the following day before leaving.

In their bedroom, Casey reclined on the bed and watched Emm get ready for bed. “Doesn’t it feel odd that we are here in this house all by ourselves?” She commented.  

“Casey, don’t start with the ghost spooky stuff! You know how that shit scares me. Besides, Etta is here.”

“Nope, she said she left at ten, remember? But don’t you worry, I’m well equipped to protect you.”

“Don’t tell me you brought your gun?”

“Of course not, that could be illegal here, and I don’t think guns would be too effective with ghosts.”

 “Very funny. Let’s go to sleep.” Emm announced as she got under the covers.

“Are you serious? No playing with our mice?”

“Cas, look at the size of this room and the thickness of that door. Any sound would be amplified to the max in this place.” As Emm finished talking, they heard it.

“Oh, yes, baby, right there!”

They looked at each other and chuckled while listening to the intensifying sound. “I think we are a lot quieter. Are you sure you don’t want to give it a go?” Casey asked knowing that Emm was considering it. Casey knew her partner’s sexual needs as well as her own.

Next door, the sounds quieted and then pitched again with apparently Dana being the most vocal. “Oh dear, God! Looks like they are at it again.” Emm protested.

“Rap Cin, I don’t think they will hear us, even if—.” Casey felt Emm’s lips on hers before she could finish her sentence, and then she felt the hand she craved caressing the right spot.

“Umm, looks like the mouse is out to burrow.” Casey whispered making Emm smile.

“Are you feeling okay?” Emm asked

“Fit as a fiddle.” Casey replied.

“We may have to schedule more treatments, since you feel so healthy when I’m administering them.”

Casey grinned. “As many as you want to, but please no scheduling. I would hate to be like Patsy scheduling everything.”

“Do you think they schedule sex?” Emm’s eyes opened wide in her usual expression of disbelief, which Casey loved.

“Emmy, how would I know that? I’m just guessing, she schedules everything to the minute. I wouldn’t be surprised if she scheduled sex.” Casey replied and kissed Emm’s neck. 

“I just thought she might have told you.”

“No, we don’t talk about those things.”

“They might schedule the beginning, but not the end, for sure! I can still hear them.”

“Stop listening, and focus on us.” Casey suggested softly in her ear with the immediate response of Emm’s hands. Just then there was a huge screeching sound.

“What was that?” Emm stopped cold and asked.

“What was what?” Enjoying Emm’s touch, Casey hadn’t heard anything.

“That noise, didn’t you hear it?” Emm asked again.

“You mean them next door?”

“No, it wasn’t them.” Emm replied.

Casey looked out the window. “Maybe it was thunder. Looks like it’s raining.” Emm settled down and snuggled to Casey, but not for long because they both heard the noise again. Emm opened her eyes wide, and Casey tried to comfort her. “It must be a shutter that’s gone loose. Let me go see if I can find the source of the problem. I don’t think we will be able to get anything done here, or get any sleep tonight unless we tie that thing down.”

“What are you planning to do? Rummage around the house?” Emm seemed worried.

“I see no alternative. Remember that Etta said that there was no room service, and it’s past ten, so she’s already gone.”

“Aren’t you afraid to go all by yourself?” Emm asked.

“You can come with me,” she chuckled. “This was not the way I expected you to come, but still—.” Emm rolled her eyes and gave her a gentle slap on the shoulder. “Come on, Rap Cin, let’s take care of this, so that we can take care of our business. I brought a flashlight, you know I’m always well equipped.” Emm gave her another gentle slap with another smile. She loved Casey’s sense of preparedness.

 They stepped outside of their room and into the hallway, and when the floorboards squeaked, they stopped. Since it was dark, Casey turned on her tactical flashlight and the crisp beam of light inundated the hallway. “Cas, I don’t think we should look for the source of that noise, everything looks dusty and grim. I really don’t think it’s any of our business to do this.” Casey paid no attention and continued to advance with Emm grabbing onto the back of her t-shirt. “Please, Cas, let’s turn around.”

Casey could never resist Emm’s pleas, so the minute Emm said please, she stopped. “Okay, let’s go back.” When they turned, they bumped into two bodies and everyone screamed. Casey pointed her flashlight ahead and came face to face with Dana. Faced with the bright beam of light Dana screamed again, so did Casey and everyone else. “Good grief! What are you guys doing here?” It was then that Casey pointed the flashlight down saw Patsy’s legs.

“Same thing that you are doing. Checking things out. We heard a noise.” Patsy explained.

“Okay, I think we need to calm down and go back to bed.” Emm tried to reason.

“No way! I’m getting to the bottom of this! I’m going upstairs. The noise came from above.” Patsy was determined.

“Pats, I think we should go back to bed.” Dana pleaded, while Emm glanced at Casey, who was smiling thinking that they had probably done the unthinkable and were off the schedule.

“Come on, let’s go up to the widow’s walk, maybe we’ll see Henrietta up there.” Patsy said.

Everyone looked at each other and followed Patsy up the stairs. The third step cracked and Patsy’s leg went through it. When the board broke under her foot, she screamed and so did everyone else. Casey grabbed her by the arm and helped get her foot out.

Dana was rattled. “Baby, baby, are you okay?”

“Yeah, yeah, it’s nothing. We need to watch our steps, the wood is all rotted.” Patsy stated.

Just then, they heard a door shriek, and they froze. Patsy was still massaging her leg. They looked down the steps looking out for someone, but no one showed up. Then, the curtain rod on the window next to them fell.

“Shit! This place is falling apart.” Patsy again stated

Casey thought to end the ordeal and took the lead going up the steps followed closely by Emm. “Let’s get this over with!” Once at the top they stepped out on the remnants of what appeared to be a former look out post. “I see no ghosts. This widow watch thing is just another made up story, I say we go back to our rooms and leave first thing tomorrow morning.”

 “I agree.” Dana added, and they all proceeded downstairs to their apartment.

Once in bed, Casey commented in whispers, “don’t know what’s worse, Dana without make up, or Patsy in boxer shorts. Dana looks ghostly without stuff on her face, and Patsy looks like a flamingo in those boxer shorts. I don’t know how her legs hold her.”

Emm laughed and pulled her down to her. “Stop it. You are going to get us in trouble when I start laughing the next time I see them. Why don’t you count your blessings instead of making fun of others?”

Cassie smiled. “You are right, I’m very lucky to have found you. Beautiful face, beautiful eyes, gorgeous thighs, umm.” Casey kissed down her neck and caressed Emm’s thigh. Then she realized that Emm had remained silent. “What about you? What blessings can you count?”

Emm smiled. “Umm. Let’s me see, I’m so crazy in love with my field mouse that I wouldn’t know where to start.” She combed Casey’s hair back as she spoke. “I definitely love her hard ass.” Casey chuckled. “You owe a lot to spandex pants. I mean behind Zorro’s mask there was not much I could see, but those pants sure did you a favor!”

Casey grinned. Deciding to put an end to the talk and get some action, she flipped Emm over and her field mouse began to search for her burrow. Just then, they heard Patsy and Dana again. “For God’s sake! Will they give it a rest?” Casey sounded annoyed.

Emm chuckled, and realizing that with the racket next door, nothing would work at their end, she whispered, “Cas, it’s okay. Let’s just cover our ears tonight and go to sleep.”

Casey was not happy as she slumped back on the bed, but the unhappiness didn’t last long when she felt Emm’s lips on her neck. Casey took Emm’s hand and kissed it. She rejoiced thinking that just holding Emm was enough to make her happy.

In the morning, the happy couples packed their bags and left the apartment leaving the keys in it. “Let’s find the breakfast place. I don’t know why, but I’m starving.” Dana’s statement prompted an immediate look from Emm to Casey. Making love always made them hungry, so they could easily understand why Dana was so hungry. Casey winked and Emm smiled.

At the restaurant, they placed their order. After fussing about which was the healthiest possible selection, Dana ordered the same thing as everyone else except for the fact that her eggs and toast had to be done in a certain manner, her juice had to be room temperature, her sausage had to be turkey and her cream had to be half and half for her half decaf and half regular coffee.

Casey thought that watching Dana order any meal was like watching the discovery channel because she was always in awe. She also always looked at the waiter wondering what thoughts could possibly be going through her head and hoping that she was getting that order right or else it would be sent back. Patsy never seemed to give the matter a second thought, and she usually gulped her coffee down while Dana made all her specifications clear.

Emm’s order was quick and so was Casey’s. “I hope that we can get out of here in an hour, so that we can hit the highway before noon, because if we don’t we will hit the rush hour in several spots and that would delay us. I would like to get home by six this evening to watch the game.” Patsy explained.

Casey smiled and said nothing. The manager of the restaurant stopped at their table when they finished their breakfast to make sure everything was okay. “Did you enjoy your breakfast this morning?”

“Yes, thank you. Everything was fine.” Emm politely responded.

“Well, the turkey sausage was a bit greasy and the eggs a bit runny, but other than that everything else was wonderful.”

Casey looked at the manager and realizing that the man was at a loss for words, she immediately came to his rescue. “My breakfast was delicious. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

“Thank you. I also hope that you are enjoying your visit to our lovely town.” Casey wondered what was so lovely about it.

“Yes we did. We loved it.” Patsy responded in her usual cheerful mode. Casey pressed her lips and smiled. Emm smiled knowing exactly every thought going through Casey’s mind.

“Unfortunately, we leave today.” Dana added

  “Where did you stay while in town, if I may ask.” The restaurant manager asked.

“The Mariner’s,” Emm responded.

“That cannot be possible.” He reacted astonished.

“Why?” Patsy asked.

“The Mariner has been closed for the last 100 years. Although there are rumors that Etta, Henrietta Winslow opens it once a year as she expects her lover to come back from the sea.” At the mention of Etta’s name, everyone looked at each other and expectantly at the manager for more on the story.

“The house was badly damaged by a terrible storm back then, and all that remained intact is the apartment on the left wing of the house. It’s believed that she had prepared that room for her and her lover upon his return. The same storm that destroyed the house sunk his ship and he never made it back. She closed the place and no one ever saw her much after that happened.”

“Is it true that her ghost appears on Halloween night on the widow’s walk?” Casey was the only one not totally shocked at the table to ask.

“No, that is not true. The widow’s walk was partially destroyed by the storm. All that was left intact was the apartment on the second floor and the reception area of the motel. Some people say that she roams the place and opens it once a year as a lovers’ den to make up for her own unfulfilled desire to mate with her love.”

“Shit!” Patsy said.

“Wow!” Dana added.

Noticing that Emm was speechless, Casey took her hand under the table and squeezed it. “Well, thank you very much, sir.” Then Casey addressed Patsy. “I think we need to get going, or else you will never make it home for the game.”

“No kidding! Let’s get going!”

The minute they were outside the restaurant the conversation began. “I don’t know about you guys, but I’m freaked out!” Dana stated.

“Did we fucking see a ghost last night?” Patsy added.

“I think we might have.” Emm timidly said.

Casey, who couldn’t wait to leave, thought to put an end to the nonsense. “Listen, people, I’m not going to give this thing any more thought. Let’s just say what they say in Vegas: what happened here stays here! And, by the way, I’m not coming back to this creepy town ever! Let’s just go!”

As they drove out of town, they passed the motel. This time there was no vacancy sign and it seemed as lifeless as ever.  “Next year, not even the field mouse will convince me to do any Halloween outing, FYI!” Casey stated firmly.

“No worries. I’ve had enough too.” Emm said. “But if there’s one thing I liked about this weekend it’s that I’ve come to the realization that we really know each other well.”

Casey smiled. “And how was that revealed to you? Did Etta give you some particular insight?”

“Stop that! Please, don’t mention her again. I just realized that most of the time, I knew what you were thinking.”

Casey smiled again. “Me too, and I think it’s great.”

“I do too. I think we are a perfect match.” They both looked at each other and smiled. “Maybe you were right about us having children someday.” Emm’s comment made Casey grin. 

“I could definitely be very happy with my field mouse for the rest of my life.” Casey replied knowing that she was heading home in more than one way.

“Me too. Very happy.” Emm took Casey’s hand and kissed it.

“Hey, since we are not on a schedule, what do you say if we stop at that Hilton ahead, and ask if they have a room for the night and have some time to ourselves?”

“I think it’s a great idea. We can call work about being late tomorrow.” The minute Emm finished talking Casey took the exit. “I love your spontaneity, no schedule for you!” Emm added.

“Nope! Not to begin or to end!”

“My naughty Zorro!”

“My devilish Rap Cin. We make a good team.”

“We sure do!”

The end.

Look for my books at http://amazon.com/author/teyholden