2019 Ironology Challenge #4 – September 27, 2018

2019 Ironology

Challenge #4

September 27, 2018

Deadline is Thursday, October 11, 2018 at 00:01 AM MDT

1000 word limit

All submissions will be posted on the website, without the authors names.

Authors names will be added after voting is complete.

Send your submission to Brian via FB Messenger.

No email submissions will be accepted.

Only the first five submissions received are eligible for the anthology.

To vote, send the title to the story you liked best to Brian via FB Messenger.

 

Prompt:

After decades of loneliness, an immortal has agreed to a blind date with you.

 

 

The Companion

Richard Russell

Slouched on the sofa, Jack sat up enough to reach into the papersack on the coffee table and extract another can of beer.   “Phsht!”  He flopped back, looked over at his friend, Derrick, and continued their conversation, “I don’t care.  What do youwant to eat?”  Derrick blindly tossed his empty can over the back of the sofa trying to hit the trash basket and missed, “I don’t know.  Pizza?” The two paused while they both looked around the room at the ten or fifteen pizza boxes strewn about. There was another ten minutes of silence before Derrick retrived another beer, “Phsht!” Derrick overted his eyes in Jacks direction, “They deliver.”  “Point well made.” Jack admitted as he set his beer down and speed-dialed Pizza K.

One large pizza and two more beers later the two were again listing on the sofa under the weight of yet another protracted silence when Jack spoke up, “I need a girlfriend.”  Derrick raised his eyebrows then agreed, “Yes, Jack, you certainly do.” “Problem is, I never go out.  How am I gonna meet girls if I stay home all the time?”  “You’re not, Jack.  In my experience I have never, NEVER, met a girl in the comfort of my own livingroom.  You know, Jack, you ought to sign up for a dating service. Jack sat up straight, “NO WAY!”  But Derrick now had momentum, “Here, gimme the phone.”

One month later, Jack’s blind date arrived at his front door, “Ding dong!”  Jack opened the door.  To his astonishment, the woman standing there was stunningly gorgeous. Surely this was a mistake.  Jack inquired, “Hestia?”  The woman smiled, “Jack?”  Temporarily disoriented, Jack looked around at his living room, at the floor, and the ceiling.  Yup, this was his house, and she was standing in his doorway.  Hestia smiled, “Ahem, may I come in?”  Jack refocused, “Oh, um, well,” stepping outside and pulling the door closed behind him he suggested, “I thought we might … go out.   Do you like pizza?”  Hestia put her hand on Jack’s shoulder, “I have a better idea.  Let’s go inside and have it delivered.”  With her hand slowly moving from his shoulder to the back of his neck, Jack was hard pressed to argue about how unkempt his place was.  “Yeah? Really? Okay … sure.”  He re-opened the door, they moved as one through the threshold, and Hestia closed the door behind them.

Even though this was Jack’s place, he felt like a fly being dragged into the spider’s lair as Hestia put her other hand around Jack’s neck and pulled his face close to hers. “Well, Jack, here we are.”  Jack swallowed hard.  Hestia scanned the living room intently. “I have an idea, Jack.” Jack remained silent.  Why don’t you sit here on the sofa, order your favorite pizza, and I’ll just tidy up a bit.”  Depositing Jack onto the sofa, Hestia disappeared into Jack’s bathroom. Jack was on the phone when Hestia came out, went straight to the fridge, grabbed a beer, took it to Jack, and turned on the football game.  Then she began to collect all the old pizza boxes and beer cans and put them in the trash. Jack was a little confused, but by the time he’d finished half his beer, and started on a large bag of chips and dip, he had become involved in the game.

By the time the game was over, Hestia had completely cleaned the living room and the kitchen.  Jack was still confused, but, actually was feeling pretty good about her, the house, and even though things didn’t go the direction he thought they would, that didn’t really matter so much anymore. There was something about this woman that was different.  He feasted his eyes on the cleanliness of his living room and remarked facetiously, “Will you marry me?”

Hestia stopped in her tracks and became very serious, “No, Jack,  I will nevermarry you!”  Jack recoiled in surprise, “I was just kid …”  She cut him off, “Jack, I should tell you something about myself.” Jack stared blankly as Hestia continued, “I am …. immortal.”  Jack raised an eyebrow, as she went on, “Really!  Immortal!  I will never die!”  The edges of Jack’s mouth curled as he prepared to laugh at her joke, but Hestia plompted down next to him on the sofa and opened her purse. “Look, Jack,” and she pulled out a small photo album and showed Jack  pictures of a few men.  “Look, these are some of the men I have had the privilage to know.  There are more, but photographs are such a recent invention. Ya see, I have always needed to care for someone, but after watching every man I bonded with die, everytime, knowing it would end this way, well, I stopped for a few decades. But I can’t stand the lonliness any longer. I signed on to the dating service thinking I would find someone who needs me.  Jack, if you’re willing, I’ll stay with you, keep your house, keep you company,, and care for you until the day you die.  I will stay with you to the end.  All I ask is that you have some self respect, try to improve your life and help others do the same.”   She was serious.  Jack again looked around at his clean house, that’s when he saw his own reflection in the mirror.  He was such a slouch; self centered, and uninteresting.  “Surely you can do better than me.” he admitted.  Hestia smiled her heart warming smile, “Don’t underestimate your self … darling.”

Jack didn’t reallybelieve Hestia’s outrageous claim, not at first.  But as time passed and she never aged, he believed.  Within a few years, because he had someone who cared, Jack began to eat healthier, became quite sociable, and as time passed, he and his friends, including Derrick, became productive, involved members of their community.  Eventually, Jack died of old age, and true to her word, Hestia stayed by his side all the way to … the end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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