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Short Story: The Encounter-Part I

Updated on November 9, 2012


 This story has been divided into three parts due to its length.  If you are reading this hub you are at the beginning. Be sure to catch Parts II and III for the rest of the story...


Part I

The Encounter

The man knew he was going to pick her up as sure as he knew his name was Jack.

He spotted her earlier in the buffet line and later observed her dancing with a little girl of four or so. She herself looked young, which was part of the attraction. Her youthful features bore an innocence that triggered a flash of heat, followed by a giddy sense of excitement. He felt the familiar throb as blood surged through his body.

It was her casual appearance at this gala that struck him first--overly casual. He wondered if she was being unconventional or just rebellious. He hoped it was the latter. He watched honey colored curls bounce off her shoulders and back as her hips and rear swayed to the soft sounds of the samba.

“Not much of either hips or ass,” he thought lustfully, observing tight jeans and knee high suede boots clinging to her sylph body. It was the type of body he admired most--lean and athletic. Her short-sleeved, embroidered blouse was the color of milk chocolate and hung just above her belt, high enough to reveal a strip of white, now and then, when she bent over to twirl the little girl wrapped in her fingers. Her whole outfit looked out of place and indeed it was.

“Who wears jeans to a wedding?” he thought with incredulous delight. But her sultry moves were for him alone--an invitation to a late night liaison.

She was oblivious of him, and he liked that. It made the chase all the more enticing. She seemed unaware of everyone else around her save for the little girl, and he wondered which side had invited her there--bride or groom ?

He looked around the room as she left the dance floor, watching her guide the girl through a sea of white linen to a table in the far corner. Too far for him to innocently meander by, and he did not recognize the group of people she sat with, all who were formally dressed, including the little girl.

He lifted his empty tumbler toward the somber faced young man behind the counter who efficiently refilled his glass. Scotch and water, his usual at these affairs…smooth…like him. He chuckled aloud to himself at his joke. He was enjoying his anticipation.

Replenished, his attention turned to the corner table once more. He had no plan. To have a plan would have pricked the spontaneity of the encounter. He wasn’t nervous. He had been at this game far too long to be nervous. He recalled an earlier time in his life when his tongue would trip over itself the moment any girl would pay attention to him. However, the older he got the more he enjoyed the challenge of the conquest.

He watched the table, forcing himself to appear casual and waiting for an opportunity. If there was one thing he knew about women, it was eventually they would take the inevitable walk to the bathroom.

To make the initial contact the timing would have to be impeccable. Would she be alone or with the little girl? Would any one of the few people he knew choose that very moment to engage in some meaningless prattle and interrupt his move? Would he get his foot far enough into her door to wedge it there, making it impossible for her to resist his charms?

“Oh, Jackie Boy,” he whispered aloud, impishly calculating that it had been far too long since he had had any fun, “where’ve ya’ been all this time?”

He acknowledged the advantages of being a stranger at this celebration.

Turning his body slightly to the left, he could view the table without staring. However, as he did so he noticed that she was gone, as was the little girl. His eyes briefly scanned the dance floor and then continued to the more obvious points of interest: the empty head table, the desert bar, the photo shoot of the newlyweds cutting the cake…each time coming up empty.

He concluded that she must have slipped out of the room. Then, in one of those defining moments when the outcome of the evening could have turned out disappointingly different, the group hovering at the bar parted, revealing her tiny frame at the opposite end. He was almost past that point when he spotted her and deftly moved his body against the tide of people rushing to quench their thirst.


Are you intrigued enough with part 1 to continue reading?

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I created The Encounter from a basic writing exercise. In the attempt to build the character of Jack, the depth of the story unfolded as the psychological makeup of this man’s behavior was revealed. This short story was completed in 2009

No part of this original short story may be used, copied or reproduced without the expressed written permission of the author, Denise Handlon


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    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks Binaya. This story began as a reading prompt. I was amazed at how 'Jack' evolved with such depth. It originally was going to be a one or two page came to life and just kept growing!

    • profile image

      Binaya.Ghimire 6 years ago

      The story is beginning to build up. Before I can conclude something, I'll read the sequels. But one thing I must tell, you have created Jack with flesh and bone. He seems to be quite an interesting fellow.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Gail, LOL Thanks. I really enjoyed creating 'Jack' except he was so easy for me to create--unfortunately, a combination of a few men I had been involved with in the past. Thanks for digging this up from way back and reading it.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

      Love the first part of this short story and the sinister description of Jack. I agree with Danette- you've drawn a psychological profile of the man which really gives his character depth. Can't wait to read more but it's late right now and I'm going to save it for tomorrow morning when I can savor it over a cup of hot tea. I didn't know you had a talent for writing short stories.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 7 years ago from North Carolina

      Micky-LOL Yes, Jack - on the prowl. Know anyone like him?

      I've known a few myself.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      Eerie! Jack? aha!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 7 years ago from North Carolina

      Darski-Thank you. I'll be looking forward to your Kidnapped. I'm very curious--you mentioned it was a true story. That grabbed my attention.

      maheshpatwal-So happy to see that you have visited my hub. Thanks for your feedback-much appreciated.

    • maheshpatwal profile image

      maheshpatwal 7 years ago from MUMBAI

      Denise great hub. My eyes were totally glued to the every single word of the first installment of your story. Very nicely written and intriguing. Looking forward to read other installment of the story.

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 7 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      You had my full attention, your writing style is out of this world, you are great. I wrote something close to this, a true story one, two and three called kidnapped so please read it and let me know what you thing. This is so good and I rate up up up love & peace darski

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 7 years ago from North Carolina

      Pam-thanks for the explanation. RE: short story writing or finishing your book-YES DO IT...don't delay. Make that a writing goal for yourself. :)

      Danette, Wow, I didn't realize this. Thanks for sharing. YOu know I always appreciate your critique. As for the 'man and his dynamics' I have some very good examples, don't I , LOL

      Carrie-I'm so glad I cut it off at just the right place to intrigue. Thanks for your comments! :)

    • carrie450 profile image

      carrie450 7 years ago from Winnipeg, Canada

      I'm intrigued now that I have read part 1 Denise. I'm on my way to read part 2. Love it!

    • profile image

      Danette Watt 7 years ago

      Denise, this is one of my favorite stories of yours - shows depth of character, a real understanding of the man and his dynamics (ditto The Gambler).

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Denise, I read the whole story using my new android phone last night but couldn't get logged into Hubpages correctly which is why my name is in black and while on III section. Anyway, I did enjoy the whole story and loved the ending of course. I too want to write either some short stories or finish the book I started 2 years ago. Voted on all/ rated up.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 7 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi PN-well, it isn't exactly a novel, although I suppose I could develope it into that. It is a novella? Not sure if that is the right term. It's a super long short story, LOL which meant I had to divide it into Three parts. Thanks for reading and commenting. I'm hoping to get some useful feedback placing it here.

    • PaperNotes profile image

      PaperNotes 7 years ago

      Interesting story. I too have thought of starting on my own novel but due to lack of time, I never got the chance to plan for it.