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A jack-o-lantern glowed on the corner of the desk next to a basket of ripe red apples. A vase of mums completed the autumn vignette. Marian's head was bent over a pile of books she was sorting, hoping to have them back in place on the shelves before it was time for her to leave. Every October it was the same thing. Just about every book of “true” ghost stories was taken out of the library, and returned by Halloween night.
Her thoughts were interrupted by “Trick or treat!”
Marian looked up and smiled at the Tinkerbelle and Spiderman who stood on the other side of the desk. “Don't you two look great this year? Are you having a good time?”
“Yes,” they said in unison.
“Let’s see, did you come here to get an apple?”
The pouting lips on the faces of the seven-year old Burnette twins was priceless. “No,” they said together.
Marian did her best to keep a straight face. “Well, the only other treats I have are candy bars. I don't suppose you would settle for those, would you?”
“Yes! Thank you Miss Marian,” they yelled to her as they ran out the door, leaving the library quiet once more.
To the casual observer, Marian appeared to be dressed the part of a librarian for Halloween. The thirty-five year old woman wore a gray skirt, white blouse and pink sweater. Her brown hair was pulled into a bun at the nape of her neck and a pair of reading glasses rested on her nose. A pair of sensible flat shoes finished off her attire. She appeared much older than her years.
Marian – Marian the librarian. What a cruel hand she had been dealt when her parents named her that. They were an older couple who never thought they would be blessed with children. Marian came into their lives when they were in their mid-fifties. She was only five when her father died that Halloween, so the holiday was always bittersweet. Growing up, she spent most of her time with her mother. When she became a teenager, instead of enjoying school activities and going to parties, she went home to care for her aging mother. Now her mother was ninety and living in a nursing home, but Marian still went home right after work. Life had pretty much passed her by.
It was nine o'clock and time to lock up. She finished putting the books away, blew the candle out in the jack-o-lantern and locked the door behind her. When she stepped out onto the sidewalk, she was surprised to see a very large bus with blackened windows sitting in front of the library. Marian could hear the muffled sounds of voices inside as she started to pass by. Suddenly the bus door opened and several men stumbled out into her path. One of them bumped into Marian, spilling his beer on her.
“Damn! Sorry ma'am,” he mumbled.
Marian was shocked by the group and the smell that assaulted her senses. She may not have been a partier in her day, but there was no mistaking the aroma of pot that exited the bus.
“Dog, you ass,” one of the other men yelled. “Are you trying to get us thrown out of town?”
I know him, Marian thought, trying hard to remember why the man who yelled at his friend looked so familiar. Her heart began to beat a little faster when she realized she was looking into the green eyes of her teen-aged dream. The walls in her bedroom had been covered with posters of the band named Manchester, and its lead singer, Stephen Lowd. Older now, but still an attractive man, he stood before her.
“I'm really sorry,” his eyes seemed to burn into hers. “Can I offer to have your clothes cleaned?”
Marian didn't realize she was staring. His dark hair showed streaks of gray and the laugh-lines around his eyes were evident, but he was still the gorgeous singer she remembered.
“I....you....I mean...,” she stammered, completely star-struck.
Stephen grinned and took Marian's hand in his. This was a look he had seen often in his over twenty years in the music business. “I'm Stephen; please forgive Rudy for his clumsiness.”
“Of course, “she said. “I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
“Let us do something for you. We were driving across country to California and we got this overwhelming urge for a meal. Can you suggest some place?” Stephen said, still holding Marian's hand.
A chill ran up her spine, but Marian pushed the uneasiness out of her thoughts. How often do people this famous ever come to the small town of Perish?
She eased her hand out of his and said, “Unfortunately, the two diners in town closed early because of Halloween. I'm sure you'll find something open closer to the highway.”
“Well then that's where we'll head,” Stephen said, turning away. Almost as suddenly, he turned back. “Would you allow us to buy you dinner? I know it's late, but I'd really like to spend some time with you.”
It made no sense, but all Marian could think of was her great fortune in meeting her idols from years ago. Nothing magical ever happened to her. Nothing of any kind ever happened to her, so who was she to turn down this opportunity? She nodded her head in agreement and followed Stephen onto the bus.
The interior of the band's bus was as dark as its windows. The sides appeared to be a dark walnut with small, amber lighted sconces between the windows. The seats were black and there was a haunting melody playing over the speaker system.
Stephen ushered Marian to a seat near the rear of the bus and then sat next to her. He asked her about her life, her interests, and her dreams. She was enchanted by his soft voice and his cat-like eyes. When he spoke to her about his life and his travels, he would sometimes run his fingers over her hand, causing goose bumps to form on her skin.
The bus hit a bump in the road causing the pair to be thrown against each other. Their heads raised, their eyes met and their lips came together. It started soft and tentative but continued and became more demanding. Marian couldn't remember the last time she was kissed by a man, but she didn't care. That kiss transported her to a wonderful place in her mind.
“Found it!” the bus driver shouted out, slowing the bus, pulling to a stop, and causing the couple to separate.
Marian hadn't paid attention to the drive, so she had no idea where she was. She certainly didn't remember having seen this fifties-styled diner before. The red neon sign flashed “Fat Nancy’s” and you could hear oldies playing through loud speakers outside the building. Inside it looked as if there was a Halloween party going on. Everyone seemed to be dressed for an old-time sock-hop.
The band and Marian quickly grabbed a large booth in the corner, darting around dancers who had gathered around a jukebox. Their waitress was a rather round, middle-aged woman with her hair piled high on her head, wearing a red uniform and a white apron.
“Hey kids, what’ll you have tonight?” asked Dina, or so her name tag read.
The menu was a throw-back to the simple eating of years gone by – just good honest food. Nothing fancy, nothing with a cream sauce, just burgers, fried chicken, hot dogs and such. One might look at it as heart attack on a plate, but it was just what this group wanted. When Dina left to place the order, a couple of the guys got up to check out the music and mingle with the dancers. Stephen stood and offered his hand to Marian and then led her out onto the dance floor.
“Unchained Melody” played and Stephen sang quietly in Marian’s ear. She felt hot, but chilled. Never in her wildest dreams could she have imagined being in the arms of this handsome man. She felt his breath on her neck, followed by the touch of his lips.
Soon Stephen whispered, “Let’s go outside for a bit.”
Hand in hand they walked out the door, accompanied by a couple of sly remarks from Stephen’s band mates. The air was getting cooler and becoming damp. You could smell the scent of autumn leaves and hear the wind whistle through the trees. Marian was glad she wasn’t alone on this eerie night.
Stephen turned and pulled Marian into his arms. His mouth engulfed hers with a kiss that was very different from any she had ever experienced. Marian felt her body mold against Stephen’s. Everything around her seemed to cease. She knew that she would do anything he asked.
Marian was not a virgin. Well, not in the truest sense of the word, anyways. There was the back-seat tussle with a boy from Perish College. It had been a rare instance when her mother had gone away with the seniors from the center and wasn’t expected home until very late. She really didn’t know what he wanted until she felt it was too late to turn back. Thank goodness he had used a condom.
Now, for the first time, she was experiencing the wants and needs of a grown woman. Stephen’s lips made her want more, when he held her she wanted more, her body was crying out for more.
The couple separated and took a breath. Each had a questioning look on their faces.
“Stephen, will you take me into the bus?” Marian asked.
“Miss Marian, I can’t promise you anything. I can only give you tonight,” Stephen told her.
“That’s all I’m asking for,” she responded.
The last seat on the bus stretched from one side to the other. It was a narrow bench seat, but it was big enough for the two of them. Marian sat stiffly, not afraid, but nervous about what she had suggested. Very gently, Stephen eased her sweater off her shoulders and started unfastening the pearl buttons on her white blouse.
One by one they opened, revealing the very utilitarian white bra that held her modest breasts. Marian was not embarrassed by her body. She came from good genes and was tall and slender. She kept telling herself that she asked for this, it was what she wanted, but still she couldn’t help how she felt.
When he finished with her buttons and removed her blouse, he sat back and just looked at the woman before him.
Marian prayed he couldn’t see her blush in the very dim light. She put her hand up to touch the side of his face and their lips came together again. Stephen leaned her back on the seat and lay over her. As they kissed, his hands moved over her body with feather-like touches. She shivered when his hand settled on her breast – squeezing and massaging it until her nipples stood at attention.
Stephen slid Marian’s bra up over her breasts and gently began to suckle at one of them. She made quiet little sounds of pleasure as he enjoyed her modest woman bits. Inside this unassuming librarian was a woman who wanted more.
Marian held Stephen’s head to her chest. She never wanted this feeling to end, and yet she did. She wanted him to move on and touch her in other places. She reached over to her left side and unbuttoned her skirt and slid the zipper down. Stephen heard the noise and stopped.
He moved off of her and stood to remove his t-shirt. Reassured by the look on Marian’s face, he reached down and pulled her skirt from her body. Marian cursed the white full brief panties she wore, but they didn’t seem to bother Stephen as he removed them. He stripped out of his jeans and joined her once more.
When Stephen took Marian in his arms, her fears melted away. He kissed her with a passion she had never known, and she answered him. In spite of Marian’s inexperience, a woman will react if the seduction is not only of the body, but of the mind. Stephen was her desire when she was just beginning to blossom. With her sexual growth stunted, her mind returned to that time. He showed interest in her and treated her not only with respect, but with desire. He was fulfilling all of her needs.
His lips moved away from hers, along her jaw line and down her throat. They were light kisses that made her shiver with desire, but fanned the flame that was starting. Stephen’s tongue left a warm moist trail as he worked his way down.
Marian was panting by the time he approached her breasts. He was almost able to take the whole breast in his mouth. Nothing wasted, he thought while he savored the smells and tastes of this willing woman. One of her hands gripped the side of the bench while the other tangled itself in Stephen’s hair. Her legs began to open, silently begging him to keep going. Her hips rose up and down to the beat of an unheard drummer.
Still feasting on her mounds, Stephen moved his hand lower to her valley of moist heat. Marian’s tufted hair was dripping with wetness and her scent filled the night air. He parted her lips with his finger, finally rubbing from clit to hole, without touching either.
“Nuh…uh….oh God, please…..” Marian moaned, wanting him to stop but not wanting him to ever stop.
Stephen pushed his way into her hot canal. The sides of her sheath gripped him tighter than a woman much younger. One, two, three, four pumps of his finger and Marian was cumming. Her squeal was high-pitched and she sounded like a banshee on the moors.
When she threw her leg over Stephen’s hip, he couldn’t wait any longer. He gripped Marian’s hip and slowly pushed his way in. As his cock broke into the long neglected pussy, it seemed to grab hold and pull at him. Marian howled and pushed back. Side by side they began their mutual assault. Marian was demanding and Stephen was like a piston working in and out of a finely tuned machine.
Finally, he stopped moving and held her tight. Marian could feel his hot juice fill her. She began to shiver uncontrollably, her body releasing all its pent up tension. Stephen held her, placing angel kisses all over her face.
When her breathing finally returned to normal she said, “Stephen, I couldn’t have asked for anything more than what you gave. Thank you. Thank you for tonight.”
“Miss Marian, you are one hell of a woman. Maybe someday I’ll meet you in the reference section of the library and we’ll study some more,” he said playfully.
By the time they made themselves presentable, their food was sitting cold on the table. The rest of the group was enjoying themselves on the dance floor. Stephen took their plates to the counter to see if they could be reheated.
Marian looked down the length of the diner and saw an older gentleman staring at her. He looked strangely familiar, but Marian couldn’t place him. He must be one of our members she thought, glancing at Stephen. When she turned back, the elderly man was gone.
The rest of the evening was a whirlwind. Even Marian got up to dance, taking some impromptu lessons from one of the girls dressed in a poodle skirt. All too soon it seemed the evening came to an end.
The tour bus pulled up in front of Marian’s house almost at the stroke of twelve. Stephen walked her to her door and kissed her deeply.
“Miss Marian, I will never forget you,” he told her earnestly.
As the dark bus drove off she heard the grandfather clock chime midnight. She whispered into the night, “I’ll never forget you either, Stephen. Thank you.”
The next morning Julia, the other librarian, brought the morning newspapers to the counter. The headlines caused Marian to become ill, and she left to go home. She could barely find her way down the street to her house, tears blinding her eyes, and bile rising up in her throat. Her hands gripped the newspaper, its black ink staining her palms.
“Rock Band Killed In Bus Crash” screamed the headlines. The article claimed that the group known as Manchester had been killed in a fiery crash near the interstate, as the sun set Halloween night. The van exploded at the site of a diner which had been destroyed by fire one Halloween night back in the fifties.
Marian was sickened. There was no way last night could have happened she kept telling herself. She felt the need to lie down. It was all some maddening dream, she thought as she made her way up the stairs to her bedroom.
Something caused her to pause at her parent’s former bedroom. There on the dresser was the man she saw in the diner last night. It was a picture of her father, taken right before he passed away.