Three stories to delight you: a couple leaving their fancy west end condo to experience life on Gale, a Gulf Island; a young woman leaving her beloved Gulf Island to experience life in the city; and a humorous vignette of life in Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Twilight Times Books
This little short story book is full of humour and reflects the idiosyncrasies of a small community. Many people who have read this book have told me they know people like this. However, I can honestly say I don't know anyone like this. All the characters, even though they may fit into a small community, are figments of my imagination.
The Author, 2008
Only one more night to go, Doll had finally completed the packing. In their now empty apartment, she gulped a few mouthfuls of wine. She'd poured it rapidly after looking into the mirror and seeing what she'd done to her hair.
With all the packing done, she'd decided to give herself a treat; spruce herself up a bit. She'd rushed out to buy a tube of Face Restorer (in the form of green, sticky mud) and Hair Be Lightened to give herself streaks. Unfortunately she hadn't taken the time to read the instructions and the streaks had turned out rather more as stripes. Well, actually, two stripes of blond running along the top of her head that made her look rather like a skunk.
Panicking, she'd rushed out again to buy another bottle. This time she bought the whole head formula, deciding she had no other choice but to go completely platinum.
Although she read that she shouldn't apply colour on colour, she ignored the warning, believing they only said that to save any possible lawsuits. It wouldn't really matter, she figured. She mixed up the noxious formula, slapped it on, and then wrapped her head in a plastic bag to keep the fumes in. She decided to leave it on for double the recommended time to make sure it would work. While it did, she would use the Face Pak.
To keep her mood buoyant she poured herself another glass of wine. On an empty stomach it made her feel quite merry, so she didn't at first take too much notice when she heard the fire alarm go off. Fire practice, she thought complacently.
Her face mask was hardening quite nicely. Cheered by the thought that it might actually tighten her jowls, get rid of her open pores, and smooth out her wrinkles (as it professed to do on the package), Doll decided she'd sort out a few choice pieces of undies to wear when she next saw Oliver. He'd liked that new bustier. She'd try it on and see what went with it.
As she struggled into the shocking pink and scarlet corset and tightened the black laces, she felt a bit guilty for how grumpy she'd been about the purchase of Strawberry Fields. Like Oliver said, it probably would be fine. And, after all, Oliver was following his dream and she should give him a chance to enjoy it. And perhaps it would be fun doing all those island things after all. She could experiment with the decor in the farmhouse for instance.
Oh, it was amazing how one's angst could be calmed and the imagination stimulated by one or two glasses of wine.
She paused, suddenly realizing the fire alarm was still going. That was unusual, she thought. Then she was startled by someone banging on the door.
"Is anyone in there?" he shouted.
Doll frantically looked for her robe, and then remembered she'd packed it.
"Who is it?" she called, clutching her breasts. "What do you want?"
"It's a fire person. There's a fire."
Doll frowned. "Fire person? What do you mean; fire person? You mean you're the janitor come to tell me there's a fire?"
"I'm not supposed to say man," the fire person said patiently. "It's politically incorrect. I mean, I could be a woman, and if I were a woman I'd hardly call myself a fireman, would I? But I'm a man, and I'm here to help you get out of the building. Is that good enough?"
Doll had no patience with political correctness. It was a load of twaddle as far as she was concerned. "Utter nonsense," she said. "Why can't you say fireman and be done with it?"
"Ma'am, I'm not here to discuss the idiosyncrasies of modern society, I'm here to rescue you."
"Well, I'm sure I'll be fine," Doll said. "Thanks for coming to warn me. You can go now."
"Ma'am, I can't go. There's a fire. You have to come with me."
"But I can't do that," Doll said. "I'm in no state to go anywhere."
"Ma'am—" There was shouting from below, cursing from outside the door, and then a frantic knocking.
"You gotta come with me, quick," the fire person said. "Open the door, please!"
"No," Doll said, backing into a corner, her hands trying to cover her quivering cleavage. "Go away."
"Do I have to break this freakin' door down, or what?"
"You dare. We've sold the condo!"
"Then bloody-well let me in!"
"I bet you aren't supposed to swear on the job, fire person," Doll said. "I shall report you!"
"You won't be alive to report anyone if you don't open the door!"
"I can't," Doll said. "You don't understand. I can't go anywhere looking like this. I can barely speak, my face is getting so hard."
This particular fire person was very conscientious about his job. He was rather proud of it too, and often boasted that no one ever had come to harm when he was on duty. He wasn't at all averse to putting his foot through someone's door if they wouldn't respond to his requests; he wasn't called Sledgehammer for nothing.
There was a massive thump! Another, and the door burst inwards, the fire person almost stumbling on top of it.
Doll gasped as a six-foot something guy, in full fire person regalia, stood before her, breathing hard.
Her face mask had really tightened up now. Her neck looked green and shriveled like a turtle's. Her eyes looked red rimmed and were pulled down at the corners; her lips pinched.
For a moment, neither of them moved.