Home > NaNoWriMo 2011, The Serial Box > Day One Hundred and Ninety: Spirit Guide

Day One Hundred and Ninety: Spirit Guide

Adam refilled his date’s wine and took a moment to notice how lovely she looked in the low lighting of the restaurant. She had curves to her, which he loved, and skin that seemed to glow in candlelight. Her eyes were as dark as her long, curling hair, and she always seemed to be waiting for the punchline to a joke that he didn’t know.

That wasn’t going to stop him from trying to tell them, though.

“Hope you like the wine,” he said.

“It’s lovely.” Carlana tapped her glass against his again before she took a sip.

“Glad to hear it,” he said. “But next time I should probably remember the antidote.”

Carlana grinned around the rim of the glass. “Ah.” She put it down and leaned forward. “But what you do not know is that I have spent years building up an immunity to iocane powder.”

Adam blinked and said, “Oh my god. Marry me.”

Their laughter drew attention from the other tables, but they didn’t notice. They were having too much fun. His brother had set them up together after Adam had gone through a long spell of being single. He hadn’t minded, really. Being single had its perks. The free schedule, the lack of a need to clean all the time or close the door when he peed. But after a while the quiet and the solitude had gotten to him, so he’d asked Marv if he knew anyone. The result was what was turning out to be the best first date he’d ever had.

Kiss her.

Well, almost.

Adam ignored the voice and went on flirting. “So how is it, working at Qualis? I hear gaming jobs are really tough.”

She shrugged. “No more than any other job, really. There are some tough days, and it can be a little much being The Girl sometimes…” He could hear the capital letters she put on it and could only imagine. He worked at a small bookstore, and was the only guy there. But other than being the one person who seemed to be able to get heavy things off of high shelves, he hadn’t really noticed any kind of strangeness to it. He knew some gamers, though, and he could easily picture how they’d devolve around a gorgeous woman like this.

It turned out she’d worked on one of his favorite games, Stonecracker Kingdom, and they spent some time talking about the puzzles that were the heart of the game. “Are you sure you can’t tell me how to get the key out of the cage?” he asked.

She just shook her head. “Nope,” she said. “Gotta figure it out.”

“Or look it up online.”

She put her glass down. “Oh, you’re not one of those, are you?” He almost thought she was serious for a moment. “Because if you are, then I think we’re done here.”

“No, no, no,” he said. “I assure you. I figure them all out on my own, bleeding from the eyes or no.”

“Good to hear,” she said. “Bleeding from the eyes is actually a beta feature.”

C’mon, man, kiss her!

He coughed slightly. “Would you excuse me for a moment?” he asked. “Call of nature and all that.”

She raised her glass and said, “Be careful in there.” He was grinning all the way to the toilets, but the grin dropped once he got into the stall and locked the door.

There was a small blue panda bear hovering about a foot above his head. He reached up and grabbed it by the neck, dragging it down in front of his face. “Shut up!” he whispered. “I am trying to have a date!”

The bear looked completely unimpressed. “Yeah,” it said. “I know that. And all I’m trying to do is my job.”

“I don’t need you to do your job,” Adam said. “I need you to leave me alone!”

“You need to get into that girl’s pants before the week is out, kid.”

Adam wanted to scream. “That’s the kind of advice I really don’t need right now!” He let the bear go, and it hovered just out of arm’s reach. “You do that, and there’s pressure on me. There’s pressure on me, and I start to get nervous and nobody’s getting anything!” He had to drop his voice back down to a hoarse whisper. “Got it?”

The bear shrugged and did a slow somersault in mid-air. “Suit yourself,” it said. “But she wants you to kiss her.”

“You don’t know that.”

“Kid, I’m your spirit guide. I know everything you need to know, and I’m telling you – she’s ready to go.” The panda spun to face him and made little thrusting jabs with its hips. “You play it right and you can leave that porno folder closed for once.”

“Oh, for the love of god…”

Adam leaned his head against the tiles and counted his breaths. He’d had the panda for a few months now, and the fun of it was starting to wear thin. He had no idea where it came from, or why it chose him, but from the moment he woke up to the moment he went to sleep – and as far as he knew, all night – this little blue panda was there. Telling him what he should do in all kinds of situations. Talking to his boss, buying furniture, walking around the city. The bear didn’t always talk – most of the time it just hung out, doing whatever it was spirit guides did when they weren’t guiding. When it did talk, though, it was pretty insistent on getting its way.

“Look,” he said after a few minutes. “You have to let me make my own decisions, okay?”

The bear shrugged. “Well, yeah. Fine. But it’s my job to offer advice, so that’s what I’m gonna do.” It tapped its wrist. “She’s probably wondering where you are, by the way. Every minute you spend arguing with me is a five percent decrease in your chances of doing the nasty anytime soon.”

“See? That’s the kind of thing I’m talking about!” Adam’s words were coming out in a hoarse rush. “I’m gonna go out there, and have a nice time with a lovely girl, and if anything happens, then it happens and if it doesn’t then it doesn’t and I don’t need you or anyone else nagging me about it. Okay?” He jabbed the flush button for the toilet. “Now shut. The hell. Up!”

Adam yanked open the stall door. There was an older gentleman at the mirror, combing his hair and watching Adam from the corner of his eyes.

“Trouble, young man?” he said.

Adam took a deep breath and forced on a smile. “First date jitters,” he said. “Nothing to it.” He took his hands out of the sink and let the water shut off.

Ten percent and falling.

Adam winced and smiled again. “Gonna be fine.” He yanked a towel from the dispenser. “Juuuust fine.”

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  1. November 30, 2011 at 10:34 PM
  2. November 30, 2011 at 10:37 PM

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