MANTULA Part Nine: For Mature Readers

Doug, AKA Mantula, likes what he sees in Cottonwood, Ariz.

It had been a long time since I’d seen a beautiful woman take her clothes off. It had been so long that I had a difficult time remembering when exactly, but I remembered the feeling immediately, that sexual mix of shock of awe. Shame played a small part as well. Usually when a woman took her clothes off in front of someone, she knew that other party was in the room. She’d put on a show for that someone they would always remember or simply, unceremoniously drop her garments to the floor and leap into bed to sleep. In either case, she knew eyes were on her. In this case, the beautiful woman in question had no idea we were, ManQuail and myself, hiding in the shadows of her closet.

And I felt compelled to watch, at least for a moment.

The woman let her skirt fall to her feet and daintily stepped out of it. I could see a flash of white panties as she unbuttoned her white blouse. She fiddled with it quickly, still humming some unintelligible tune to herself, and let it slide from her arms to the floor, revealing a white lace bra and curving soft flesh underneath. She kicked her heels off next, then reached behind her to unfasten the bra. Letting that fall from her, she bent over and slid the panties to her ankles. Her black hair hung over her shoulders, hiding her face, as she pulled the skimpy garment over her feet. Stepping away from them, now completely nude, the woman sat on the edge of her bed. I could barely keep my eyes from her milky flesh and supple curves. Were I still in the body of a man, I wouldn’t have been able to stop myself from joining her there.

The blood raced through my hairy, eight-legged body. I figured ManQuail was equally excited by the show. But the shame wore on me then, and I turned away, staring into the darkness of the closet, as the nude woman reclined atop her bed. But I hadn’t tuned out long when Glenn sucked in a mental rush of breath.

He exclaimed loudly in my head. “Holy cow. Look what she has!” 

The woman pulled a cylindrical device from under the pillow next to her. The thing looked purple from where we were hiding and was shaped similar to a plump banana. The gadget quickly disappeared under the blanket. I could hear a low humming sound seconds later. The woman began to moan, slowly at first, but the moans grew louder and far more passionate. My cheeks would have turned red had I still had them. I turned away from the private spectacle, wondering what my son would think were he watching the scene.

“We need to get out of here, Glenn,” I reminded my companion. “If you could peel yourself away, now would be the best time to sneak out of here–while she’s preoccupied.”

He flapped a wing at me irritably. “One more second.”

Rather than answer, I sprang onto his back, clutching my hundred dollar bill at the same time, which wasn’t very easy. “No, now. Maybe we can find an open window or something. Let’s give this strange woman some privacy.”

Sighing, the quail stepped out of the shadows with me holding onto his fluffy back. Truth was, I wanted to stick around a bit too. The stirrings that woman created deep in my soul were something sweet and pure, yet carnal and passionate at the same time. I could watch her all day, and all night too for that matter. But something dark drove me. And I had to heed its call. This beautiful woman, her interest in me, Glenn; it could all go to hell for all I really cared.

I heard a feminine gasp as ManQuail trotted toward the bedroom door. I looked behind us, not because I wanted to see her in the throes of passion, but because that gasp didn’t sound passionate at all. It sounded more like a gasp of surprise, or a gasp of absolute disgust.

She’d seen us.

I shouted to ManQuail as she let out her first scream of anger. “You better start running, Glenn!”

We bounded out of the room and into the rest of the house, the hundred dollar bill flapping behind ManQuail like a green cape. The woman’s purple device smacked against the wall behind our backs. I could hear the woman leap from her bed shouting, “You! It’s you!”

She chased after us, cursing, while struggling into a baby blue terry cloth robe. I looked behind me in time to see her charging from the room. The robe only went down to her knees and she hadn’t taken the time to tie the thing shut around her waist. I couldn’t help but take in the view while my steed searched eagerly for an escape. Luckily he found one. An open window presented itself to us just as our host grabbed a framed painting from the wall and chucked it our way. The two-foot painting, which appeared to be of a weathered, old woman in a high-backed chair, crashed to the floor beneath us just as ManQuail took flight through the window. We barely avoided getting beaned by it.

Once outside, we found ourselves in a barren yard covered in gravel. I could hear the woman charging to the front door. She cussed and yelled. By the time she made it into the yard, however, we’d popped on top of a nearby chain link fence. I barely managed to hold onto my money and the feathers of my companion at the same time. The woman chased us across the yard, heedless of her robe flapping behind her, and of her own bare body. We disappeared into the neighbor’s yard, darted quickly under a bush, and kept on running. We lost her in no time.

“That woman would have smashed us into hamburger,” ManQuail panted. “And I think she recognized you.”

“It doesn’t matter,” I told him. “We won’t see her again. Now let’s figure out where we are so I can tell you how to get to my apartment.”

I was wrong of course. I would see her again. I just didn’t know it at the time.

Published by patrickwhitehurst

Patrick Whitehurst is a fiction and non-fiction author who's written for a number of northern Arizona newspapers over the years, covering everything from the death of the nineteen Granite Mountain Hotshots to Barack Obama's visit to Grand Canyon. In his spare time he enjoys painting, blogging, the open water, and reading everything he can get his hands on. Whitehurst is a graduate of Northern Arizona University and currently lives in Tucson, Arizona.

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