Gentleman seeks Companion

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
So loneliness is a modern disease . It's as harmful to your health as smoking apparently. With that in mind who can blame anyone for trying to find love and companionship in unconventional ways. I'm sure it works out well for many people. But as they say, buyer beware.

Submitted: June 23, 2019

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Submitted: June 23, 2019

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Gentleman seeks a companion.

 

It was a long time since Hugh had been in a relationship. For five years he had been alone, not even on a date, and he was tired of the solitude. Not that he lacked a social life at all. He worked, he went to dinner parties, he attended functions, but there just didn't seem to be anyone special out there for him. He had tried internet dating but the soulless nature of it and some of the vacuous replies he had received from ladies did nothing to give him any hope that it was the way ahead. When a friend had suggested to him about trying a matchmaker he had laughed at the idea, yet here he was on the west coast of Ireland with an appointment to do just that. The advertisement boasted that the gentleman was a fourth generation matchmaker and his services were both discreet and highly recommended. He had clients from all over the world and a spectacular success rate. Hugh didn't feel particularly optimistic especially as the rain had poured relentlessly all the way from the airport to here. It gave the whole venture a feeling of impending failure. He knocked on a big oak door attached to a surprisingly modern house. It would seem there was money to be made in match making.

A sprightly looking man in his sixties, Hugh estimated, opened the door. He had a big smile and red cheeks.

“Come in, come in. Jesus would you look at that rain! It's plagued us all day. Never mind come and have a drink Hugh. I can call you Hugh can I?”

“Please do Mr Murphy....”

“Aah! Now call me Jack. Let's get you something to drink, you look like a whiskey man to me, and then down to business. The business of finding you a nice lady to brighten up your life.”

Hugh protested that it was a little early for hard liquor, but it fell on deaf ears as did his request for water. Tea in bucket size mugs appeared from the kitchen courtesy of Mrs Murphy. She appeared in the study silently and equally as discreetly withdrew. While in the study husband and wife looked fondly at each other and he kissed her hand . Hugh thought at least the man had found himself a handsome woman as his own match.

“Now Hugh. You must tell me some basic things about yourself. Interests, like and dislikes, that kind of thing and then we will discuss what you want from a match. Friendship, matrimony even. Then I can find you a lady of a similar outlook with the same desire at the end of it. No good matching a woman who wants to nest with a man who's a free spirit now is there?”

He laughed heartily before getting out a pen and paper and looking earnestly at Hugh. The interview went on longer than Hugh expected and after a couple of hours he felt he had nothing left to offer in the way of information. Jack had taken copious notes which Mrs Murphy would transcribe and enter in to the data base. He already had a couple of ladies in mind, one Irish and one English. Both were by good fortune in Galway so as he was staying there perhaps a meeting could be arranged. It was always up to the lady in question so Jack would keep him informed. He agreed and paid half the fee as agreed. The other half payable upon finding a suitable match and having a good meeting. One could never predict the outcome of these pairings, but Jack assured him he would take no more money until he had found a lady who was both attractive and personable to Hugh.

Hugh drove to Galway town and found his hotel. It was a large corporate one with matching bedrooms all through and a big glass foyer. Soulless, like so much of life these days. The sleek modern hotel and spa were at least a comfortable place to await his call, and Galway was an interesting place to be. If it ever stopped raining he would venture out.

After two days Hugh was starting to doubt the wisdom of coming here. He hadn't heard from Jack and just as he was wondering if he had been duped out of his money the phone rang. It was Jack. There was a lady who wanted to meet him. She was the same age as Hugh, a professional artist, very attractive and, according to Jack, looking for a long term relationship. Would he consider taking her to dinner that evening? When to photo came through on his phone he was in no doubt that he would. The lady in question was beautiful. Her hair was slightly greying, but he could see she had a wonderful complexion and a lovely smile. The full length photo showed a pleasing figure and an elegant sense of dress. Of course he would meet her. Anna. A timeless name for a timeless beauty. Eight o'clock at the hotel he was staying in. She would be carrying a white rose. They were to meet at the bar.

Anna was everything he had hoped for as he spotted her in the bar. She was contemplating a glass of white wine as she held the rose between her fingers, twiddling the stem nervously. The photograph had not done her justice and Hugh was delighted that Jack Murphy had thought her a suitable companion. She seemed to like what she saw too smiling very warmly at him as he escorted her through to dinner. The conversation and the wine flowed over a delightful meal and it was all too soon before she was leaving. They arranged to meet for lunch the next day. Hugh could hardly wait to tell Jack Murphy what a splendid job he had done.

The next morning he rang and settled his bill with the match maker and looked forward to an afternoon in the company of the lovely Anna. The sun was out and for the first time in a long time Hugh felt happy and light hearted. He had planned to spend a whole week in the city and it seemed it could turn out to be a very good holiday indeed. He could extend it even. There was nothing pressing to go home for after all. The next couple of days went by in a whirl. He spent as much time as he could with the beautiful Anna, falling madly and recklessly in love with her. Finally she suggested that it might be nice if they could go up to his room. She felt as though they had known each other forever. Life is short. She loved him too. All this was music to his ears and heart and he gladly took her hand and took her to the lift in the big glass foyer.

The next morning Jack Murphy entered the hotel and made enquiries about the English guest Hugh Robertson. The desk clerk rang the room and then handed the phone to Jack.

“Mr Murphy....help me!” the hoarse voice whispered.

“He wants me to go on up...” Jack explained to the clerk. A member of staff escorted him and let him into the room. He slipped the young man ten euros and thanked him for his help.

Hugh was on the bed struggling for breath and deathly pale. He ran over and took the man's hand.

“Hugh, what ever has happened?” he asked.

Hugh took his free hand and pointed to the chair in the corner of the room. There sat a creature with very little resemblance to a human woman. The face was a s pretty as ever, but she had wings and claws. Resting on the floor was a tail. Jack did not seem too perturbed by the vision in the corner and sat next to Hugh on his bed.

“I see you have met the wife then Hugh. I'm so sorry for the subterfuge, but I'm sure you have had a wonderful time with her. Unfortunately many men have had their last wonderful time with my Anna. You see, I married a succubus. And they will love you with such ferocity it takes everything out of you. Anna would never hurt me because I have been her lover for a thousand years. Without a supply of suitors she would gradually fade away. So you see you have been part of a great love story. Just not your own.”

Jack heard the final breath leave Hugh's body and covered him up with the duvet. He turned to the creature in the corner.

“Anna, you've been such a naughty girl! One night and he's dead! We must discuss this at home. You go on ahead, I'll catch you up.”

Anna hissed and smiled at her husband, gathered up her tail and headed onto the balcony. She launched herself into the air and headed back to the house she shared with the match maker. Jack picked up the phone and rang reception.

“Quick call an ambulance! The man in room 300, I think he's had a heart attack!”..........

 

THE END.


© Copyright 2020 Petula Mitchell . All rights reserved.

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