Monday, August 10, 2015
Don't Believe Everything You Hear
The man in the gaudy unicorn pullover burst into Party Hearty and charged straight at Lois. She fought her instinctive impulse to duck behind the counter and gripped it with both hands instead. At least she had it between them. He stopped just short of slamming into it. Lois let her breath out, forcing calm. "Help you, sir?" she said.
"I need glitter."
Um, okay. "How much? Large or small flake? Any particular color?"
"Uh, small, I guess. They'd never believe large. Rainbow's good. Covers all the bases. How much, how much … " He swept his stare around the shop, at the shelves of party supplies. "What've you got?"
As long as he wasn't charging at her, he was probably safe. She edged out from behind the counter. "Let's see what we've got out. If it isn't enough, I'm sure there's more in stock."
Birthday party, she decided. For Daddy's little princess. A girl-child under the age of eight had to figure into this somehow. No grown man—no grown straight man—would be caught dead in public wearing a unicorn sweater otherwise. She swallowed a chuckle. The things a little girl could get an otherwise sane man to do.
She directed him to the girl half of the Birthday section, with its bows and stars and stickers and predominance of pastel colors. One entire shelf was devoted to the various incarnations of glitter. Lois's customer studied them, his frown growing. "How am I supposed to pull this off?" he muttered.
"We have glue," Lois said, with a wave of her hand at another section of shelf. "Or there are the spray cans."
"No glue," he said at once, with a shudder. "No way glue. I'll try the spray. Maybe I can blindfold her."
Now Lois frowned. This was getting kinky. Unless … of course. A game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey, glittered up to appeal to a girl. He probably had a My Little Pony poster to stand in for the donkey. If he didn't, she could sell him one.
He chose a spray can of rainbow glitter, along with a jar as backup. They headed back to the counter. "Do you need anything else?" Lois asked. "Balloons? Paper plates? Hats, maybe? We have a large selection of tiaras."
Her customer stopped and stared at her. "What for? We're not going to the Pleasure Club. This is just a date."
"A—" Oh cripes, had she misjudged that one. Lois darted behind the counter. She hoped he wouldn't notice her blush. Unicorn sweater, spray-on glitter. Just ring up the purchase and don't say a word.
He leaned on the counter, grinning at her. "I'd love to know what you're thinking."
"It's not important, sir. Or my business."
"C'mon. I have to know what's got your face all red like that. If I'm responsible, I need to apologize."
"No, you don't. It's silly. I just assumed, you know, glitter, little girl, birthday party … "
"Ah." He nodded. "You have a little girl?"
He sighed. "They're so cute when they're little. Then they hit the teens and it all goes to hell. Says the childless single guy." He shook the can. "This'll stick to anything?"
"It should, sir."
She slanted a look at him. "I guess it would depend on the viscosity." Then it hit her. Dates … liquids. Unicorn sweaters. "You weren't thinking of … "
"We have a reputation to uphold. Magic. Crap like that."
He tapped the brightly-colored image on his sweater. Her eyes widened.
"This is Talbot's Peak," he reminded her.
"I know," she said. "I'm human, not stupid."
"Obviously not. You probably know what they say about unicorns."
"That you're horny?"
"That part's true. The bit about farting rainbows? Not true. Neither is the part about our jizz." He rattled the can. "That's why the spray-on assistance. Assuming I can figure out how to slip it past her."
"Or you could just tell her the truth."
"But it's expected. We're rare and magical and our gunk comes out sparkly. If it doesn't, she'll be disappointed, and there goes any chance of a second date." He eyed the can glumly. "Hell, even fairies don't have glittery jizz. I don't know how these rumors get started."
"No, I think it's the pixies that—oh, never mind. Here's what you do," she told him. "That jar you have? Sprinkle some into a condom. Then make sure it breaks so she can see. And it will break. I know for a fact stallions have that problem."
"Ain't that the truth." He looked at Lois with growing awe. "You do know a lot."
"I said I was human. Emmy's father wasn't. Will there be anything else, sir?"
"No, this'll do it. I'll have to stop at the drugstore for the rest." He dug out his wallet. "I'm Hugh. You're … ?"
"Your daughter have a birthday coming up? Because I know where you can get a real live unicorn to give pony rides." He winked at her. "He might even have a sparkly coat."
"A sparkly horn will be enough. It's easier to clean off afterwards." Lois rang up his purchase, slipped it into a bag and handed it to him. "Her birthday's in September. Have fun on your date."
"Yeah. Uh … if you're not busy Thursday … "
"You are a horny bunch, aren't you? You realize I'm not a vir—"
"So what? That's another myth. Why should we care if the filly's been ridden or not? Thursday okay, then?"
"Lunch Thursday," Lois said. "And you won't need the glitter."
He snorted in relief. "I need to buy party supplies more often. See you Thursday." He waved as he sauntered out.
Lois waved back. "Thank you, sir. Please come again."