Bigfoot Honking Love, by Dana Wright
Geraldine Devine observed her husband noisily stuff down the second pork chop on his plate and had the urge to shove it up his nose. Her fellow diners in the upscale restaurant she had chosen for her birthday dinner didn’t seem to notice the loud chewing, slurping and gnawing sounds but every so often a head would turn just so and her face would burn with embarrassment.
Yes. They heard. Who was she kidding? Normally eating a pork chop dinner shouldn’t be such a messy affair. If he hadn’t been glued to his cell phone glued the marathon of Bigfoot: Real Adventures perhaps he might have hit his mouth instead of wearing most of his food down the front of his shirt.
“Ron, are you going to put that thing away?” Gerry cut a piece of her prime rib and dipped it in the special chef prepared sauce. She slipped the delectable bite of beef past her lips, chewing it slowly to savor the taste. God it was good. Steffan’s had only been open for three weeks. All the women at work had been talking about how wonderful it the food was. They were absolutely right. Everything was perfect; the intimate lighting, the white and red table linens, the red roses in the crystal vases and the classical music playing in the background. Chocolate mousse was listed on the menu for dessert. If she closed her eyes, this restaurant might have been heaven. Then Ron started gnawing on a pork chop bone.
Her eyes widened in horror.
Never a looker, her husband’s plump jowls quivered as his teeth scraped and ground against the bone. Sparse and mousy, the small bit of brown hair left on the top of his head stretched over his balding pate. The pale blue button down shirt she had gone to the trouble to iron straining against the bulging body beneath was covered in the remnants of his dinner and the wine he kept sloshing down his front. She shuddered in abject humiliation.
“Damn, honey. Good chop.” Ron mumbled, not taking his eyes off the screen of his new phone. The muted voices of the reality show filled in the silence between the unpleasant sounds of his fork and knife scraping across the plate like nails on a blackboard.
Anger boiling up, strong and solid. A dark viscous sensation, it pervaded her during times like this, nudging her slowly into a rage. Why did he have to ruin everything she worked so hard to put together? Why was it so impossible to try to have a nice evening, dammit? She worked full time and still managed to come home and try to be a good wife.
She cooked, cleaned and made sure he always had whatever he needed. Gerry had even been going to her weight loss meetings and had lost twenty five pounds over the last year. For him. So possibly he would realize her worth and things might be the way they used to be before the commonality of the daily grind wore them down and reduced them to Tuesday night frozen lasagna and Friday night at the Taco Hut. She had worked her ass off. Literally. The least he could do was appreciate her a little for fucks sake. It was her birthday. No card, no chocolate…not even a thank you for arranging dinner. Nothing. Hurt wound through her as Gerry stared down at her plate.
What had been lovely au gratin potatoes had since turned into a congealed pile of goo. The green beans almandine solidified into a mess of sauce and butter and she couldn’t force it past her gums. It had grown as cold as her marriage. And disgusting. And totally ruined. The really shitty thing was she had saved up every extra weight loss point for the whole week on this stupid dinner and he didn’t give a flying piece of Big Foot poop. Well. No. Not true. If there had been a giant creature feature turd it would have gotten a hell of a lot more attention than she had. It was mortifying and it was really starting to piss her off.
“Ron. Please put the phone down. We are having dinner.” You fucking self-centered asshole.
“Not now honey. The guys just discovered some fresh tracks not too far from here. It’s in the next county!” Ron snapped at her, dismissing her unceremoniously.
Gerry gripped the fork at the side of her plate and wondered not for the first time what it would feel like to bury it in Ron’s eye. Or his throat. Or…well…anything so he would just shut up about Bigfoot and give it a rest. She put it down and tried to imagine pleasant things—like going home with two containers of chocolate mousse to eat by herself while she was kept company by the Hallmark Movie Channel.
His caustic tone had her embarrassment turning to raw fury. How dare he? Gerry picked up her knife and stabbed into her beef, eviscerating it into bite sized pieces. Gerry blinked back tears, choking down another cold bite of her dinner, the joy in the meal gone. It might as well have been sand she was swallowing. Nothing was going to change. Ever. He was how he was and she needed to decide what she was going to do about that. Angrily wiping a tear from her eye with her napkin, she pasted on a mask and took a sip from her wine glass. Perhaps if she drank enough she wouldn’t feel anything anymore. It was tempting, but she knew that it didn’t help matters in the morning. All it got her was a headache and swollen eyes.
Ron swallowed the last of his dinner and shoved his plate away with a belch. Scratching his stomach absently, he laughed out loud at something on the show. “Damn, Earl. That was dumb, you son of a bitch.” He slapped his leg and more heads swiveled in their direction. Oh God. His guffawing laughter brought more stares and Gerry was ready to crawl under the table. What had she been thinking bringing him here? The man had the manners of a wild boar. Ron’s phone rang, startling Gerry nearly out of her skin. Ron jumped, almost dropping the phone into his plate, but his fingers fumbled, righting it at the last moment.
“Hello?” Ron paused, listening.
“Hey Earl. Yeah. I saw. Face first man. That had to hurt. What’s going on?” he paused again, laughing heartily. “You’re where? With the film crew? No shit?” He grinned, his eyes twinkling with excitement. “How many?”
The waiter appeared at the table glancing nervously at Ron. “Ma’am may I take these for you?”
Gerry nodded. “Yes, please. That would be wonderful.” She moved her hands out of the way and the waiter cleared her soiled dishes, loading them onto a tray.
“Sir, may I clear this out of your way?”
“What?” He looked up uncomprehendingly at the waiter.
“The dishes Ron. Are you done?” Gerry snapped, her irritation sparking hot at his inconsiderate attitude toward the server. She stated to say something but he was already back in the conversation. She felt a flush of anger creep across her face. This was it. Next year he was getting dog food heated in the crock pot for his birthday. Damned fool probably wouldn’t know the difference.
“Yes. You can take them thanks.” She sighed wearily. “Can you box up two pieces of chocolate mousse cake to go please?”
The best thing would be to head home and retreat back into her little sewing room. She could put on some television and work on her crocheting. She eyed her husband on the phone and marveled at how different he was from the man she had met only twenty years before. The gentleman he used to be would have loved this place. Now he barely functioned without that damned phone in his hand, whether it was Earl on the other end or watching that infernal show. Bigfoot. Honestly. It was all fiction. These men that traipsed around in the woods with their green glowing camera effects were no better than the ghost hunter shows he had tried to get her interested in years ago. Fakes and phonies the lot of them. It was worse than stupid.
Ron held the phone away from his mouth and gave Gerry an expectant look. “Earle’s on site with Bigfoot: Real Adventures and they found tracks near Fossil Creek.” His eyes danced as he sat up in the chair he had been slouching in all through dinner.
Gerry meet his exuberance with a deadpan stare, her voice dripping with sarcasm. “Really?” She took a sip of her wine, grateful for something to put in her mouth so she didn’t have to say anything else. The fingers on one hand curled into a fist and her nails began to bite into her palm.
Ron nodded, holding the phone back to his mouth. “What? Oh. We’re at dinner. Some fancy place the wife insisted on going to.” He paused again. “Hell yes. We’re done here.” He slapped his hand on the table, his expression brightening at whatever Earl suggested. “You tell that camera crew they better wait on me.” Ron said his goodbyes and turned his attention to Gerry. “We’re going on a Bigfoot hunt.”
Choking on her last sip of wine, Gerry wondered if the night could possibly get any worse. If she was lucky the floor might rise up and swallow her whole or a serial killer could find her in the parking lot.
Gerry sat in the passenger side of the car, her arms rigid against her sides. The chocolate mousse cake rested in a plastic bag at her feet alongside her purse. With every bump along the road, the thin plastic boxes crinkled and squeaked, setting her teeth on edge. This was not how she envisioned this night happening. Trees whipped past the car window as they sped down the highway into the darkness. The headlights became fewer and the forest thicker the longer they drove.
“How much longer Ron?” Gerry squirmed in the seat, uncomfortably aware that she had to use the restroom. All the water and wine she had drunk with dinner was catching up with her. They had been on the road for almost an hour now.
Ron shot her an irritated glance, his eyebrows drawing together as he frowned. The shadows played across his face as the headlights of an approaching car gave his over eager expression a manic look.
“We’re almost there. Why?” He snapped.
“I need to use the restroom. Can we stop somewhere?”
“Are you crazy? The camera crew is waiting on me. You had us halfway across town with your fancy damned restaurant.” His glare was mutinous. “No. You should have thought about going before we left. Now you can just hold it until we get there or get home. I don’t care which.”
Her full bladder pressed relentlessly against her as the car hit another pot hole. “Ron. Please. I need you to stop.”
He ignored her, turning up the volume knob on the satellite country station. Gerry closed her eyes and leaned her forehead against the cool glass of the window. It couldn’t be much longer.
The car slowed down. Gerry opened her eyes, groggy as she became aware of falling asleep with her head against the window. Her bladder announced itself with an uncomfortable twinge and Gerry bit her lip to focus on the pain. The car slowed down further and Gerry observed a nondescript gray vehicle and an SUV parked along the side of the highway.
They were stopping. Thank God.
“Where is everyone?”
“They’re near the creek filming. I have to go.”
“Go? Go where?”
“With the crew. Are you deaf as well as dumb?”
Panic streaked down her back. He was leaving her here to traipse around in the woods with a bunch of men with guns? Gerry looked at his dress shoes and slacks. “You’re going into the woods like that?”
“Yes.” Ron pulled in behind the other two vehicles and stopped the car. “You stay here. I don’t want you messing up the shoot. We’re going to be taping a live Bigfoot. Just go to sleep and I’ll be back when we’re done.” Without a backward glance he exited the car and slammed the door, vanishing into the night.
“Well happy birthday to me.” Gerry fidgeted in the passenger seat. They were miles away from anywhere that could even have a rest area or someplace for her to relieve herself. She eyed the dark forest beyond the car. She would have to take things into her own hands.
Gerry grabbed her purse, rifling through its contents searching for a couple of spare tissues. She found none, muffling a curse and then remembering the chocolate mousse in the bag at her feet. The waiter may have packed a couple of napkins. She nudged the cake to the side, slipping her hand under the boxes. Her fingers brushed a short stack of rough paper and she let out a relieved sigh.
“Perfect.” Taking her keys, she gathered the paper and slipped it inside the pocket of her suit jacket. Thankfully the skirt she wore was loose so she would be able to take care of nature’s call and get back to the car. Gerry opened the door and immediately noticed the silence of being this far out away from town. The interstate was almost deserted. Only a one car had passed in the time they had stopped. She stepped out of the car and slammed the door, the sound echoing in the darkness. She looked up, grateful for the calm, clear night and the nearly full moon that would be her way into the woods and back.
Gerry winced as her ankle almost twisted out from under her as she set her heeled feet on the uneven terrain.
“Damn.” She righted herself after wobbling for a moment and continued down the slope from the road into the dense tree line. Sticks and pine needles littered the ground. Scraggly undergrowth blended with the shadows of the trees, quickly casting a solitary feeling about the place. Ron couldn’t have been too far in behind her, but she didn’t hear him or the yahoos he was out there with. It was just as well for what she needed to accomplish. She craned her neck around, checking out her surroundings. The car was barely visible from the road, so if someone happened to pass by, they wouldn’t be able to see her.
Hiking her skirt up, Gerry hooked her undies with her thumbs and slipped them off over her heels. It would be too hard to balance anyway, let alone trying to maneuver around that. She leaned against a tree and squatted. Her bladder voided in a rush of hot liquid. A sigh burst from her lips unbidden as the pressure abated. Grateful for the napkins, she patted herself dry and slipped the panties back on, smoothing her skirt around her ass and down her front. She looked around for somewhere to put the soiled paper, scratching a hole in the dirt with her heel and tossed it in, covering it with pine needles. Littering was one thing, but taking home a pee stained napkin in her pocket was so not going to happen.
A rustle in the bushes caught her eye and a flash of light burst from the shadows in the distance.
“Crap. I need to get back to the car.”
If he saw her down here, he would think she was trying to get in the way of his shoot and she would never hear the end of it. Sticks and leaves crackled under her shoes as Gerry carefully edged back toward the car. As her heel twisted again she swore.
“Damn it. Why did I wear these stupid shoes?”
A mournful cry echoed through the woods, shattering the silence. Shots echoed in the distance, paired with shouting.
“Shit.” Gerry’s heartbeat sped up. Ripping the heels from her feet, she bounded for the car. Gerry was breathing hard, her fingers shaking as she found the car keys and opened the door, settling herself inside once more. Muffled shouting came from the woods and the darting light of a flashlight parted the darkness of the tree line. A high pitched scream echoed in the night and the sounds of activity loomed closer. The light bounced through the gloom and out from the trees came her husband. Blood splattered over his shirt, he ran like the hounds of Hell were on his trail. He reached the edge of the road and went down, his knee bad from an old high school football injury.
The shadows moved. A tall furry being emerged from the trees. Elegant and swarthy, he was undoubtedly male and very, very angry. The creature was covered in tawny brown hair, from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet. Gerry stared. It had to be one of Ron’s buddies in a Bigfoot suit. They were filming that hokey show. It would stand to reason that they had to have some clips to keep up appearances. Why not have one of the guys pose for an elusive shot of the Fossil Creek Bigfoot?
Except this guy didn’t look like he was standing in for a film crew. Blood splattered the front of his pelt and his claws dripped with viscera and darker things. His muscles moved in perfect symmetry when he walked. There was a wild majestic beauty that belonged to a fairy tale that she couldn’t quite place. Beauty and the Beast maybe? The Wookie from Star Wars?
Gerry froze. Her eyes traveled his body and her lips parted in surprise. The equipment that hung from between his legs was all male. This was no costume. Not a chance.
Bigfoot was real.
Her mouth hung open in shock as she watched the creature approach her husband on the side of the road. Ron crawled toward the car, but the sasquatch reached him first.
“Gerry!” He shrieked, his terrified eyes meeting hers. The creature grabbed him by the back of his pants, shredding what was left of the work shirt. Flesh and fabric became tattered as the claws bore down into Ron’s flesh. His screams echoed in the silence of the night.
It occurred to her somewhere in the middle of the event she should have had some emotion about watching her husband get pulverized. To care that the man she’d lived with the last twenty years was being beat half to death by the creature he’d been slobbering after at every major holiday and life event for most of that time.
The sound of fists meeting flesh met Gerry’s ears and she cringed. Thud after thud, he connected. The creature flipped him over, Ron’s mouth open in a silent scream. A high pitched yowl emanated from the woods as another creature emerged from the copse of trees. This one was smaller, a more slender form with obvious female attributes. His mate.
A decision had to be made. The gun was in the glove box. She could have used it, she supposed. He met her eyes, wild and terrified and a peace settled over her. The same kind of peace she experienced when they watched that animated movie about the forest animals taking back their territory when the hunters came to call.
It was like that.
Very much like that.
Gerry looked Ron right in the eye and pressed the button, locking the doors. Her gaze was then drawn to the form that stood at the edge of the tree line. In the female creature’s arms she held a small still form. A bundle of brown fur and dangling legs pressed lifelessly against her chest. The creature wailed its anguish. It took all of a few seconds for Gerry to figure out what happened.
In their quest for fame, the men had crossed a line. Now there would be hell to pay. Gerry was willing to bet the other members of the film crew weren’t faring much better than her husband.
It was justice. A life for a life. Or, in this case, an entire film crew of redneck assholes. Whatever. A child had been injured, or maybe even killed and they deserved whatever fucked up shit happened to them. If she could have, Gerry would have picked up a shovel and bashed Ron’s face in herself. What a lovely birthday present that would have made. But like she always did, she would make due. A gift was still a gift.
Blood splattered the side of the road as the creature ripped and tore at Ron’s now lifeless flesh, rending his body open. In the creature’s hand was the bloodied heart of her husband, still slick with blood. Bigfoot roared his fury, biting into the meat of the organ, blood pouring down his chin.
The creature met her gaze, unwavering. He cocked his head, chortled to the female at the tree line and she vanished, taking the child with her. Moments later, the male stood in front of the car, his eyes once again capturing hers. Gerry nodded at him and he drew back, shock evident in his features.
She should be running, screaming, or whatever it was that human women did when they encountered a Bigfoot alongside a lonely country road with the freshly dead corpse of their husband strewn across the highway. Instead she sat there quietly in the passenger side of the car.
Her heart pounded in her chest as she waited for him to decide to kill her or not. The beast considered her one last time and turned to go, swallowed by the darkness in moments. The flicker of blue and red lights in the distance signaled arrival of the local cops. Gerry was willing to bet no one would find a thing beyond the line of trees. She looked down at the body of her husband and a peculiar smile tugged at her lips. At least he gave his heart to something.
Dana Wright has always had a fascination with things that go bump in the night. She is often found playing at local bookstores, trying not to maim herself with crochet hooks or knitting needles, watching monster movies with her husband and furry kids or blogging about books. More commonly, she is chained to her computers, writing like a woman possessed. She is currently working on several children’s stories, young adult fiction, romantic suspense, short stories and is trying her hand at poetry. She is the author of Asylum, The Invitation and Texas Twister. She is a contributing author to Ghost Sniffers, Inc.: The Haunting of Zephyr Zoo, Siren’s Call E-zine in their “Women in Horror” issue in February 2013 and “Revenge” in October 2013, a contributing author to Potatoes!, Fossil Lake, Of Dragons and Magic: Tales of the Lost Worlds, Undead in Pictures, Potnia, Shadows and Light, Dark Corners (upcoming), Wonderstruck, Shifters: A Charity Anthology, Dead Harvest, Monster Diaries, Holiday Horrors and the Roms, Bombs and Zoms Anthology from Evil Girlfriend Media. Dana has also reviewed music for Muzikreviews.com specializing in New Age and alternative music and has been a contributing writer to Eternal Haunted Summer, Massacre Magazine, Metaphor Magazine, The Were Traveler October 2013 edition: The Little Magazine of Magnificent Monsters, the December 2013 issue The Day the Zombies Ruled the Earth. She currently reviews music at New Age Music Reviews and Write a Music Review. She is a member of the Horror Writer’s Association, Romance Writers of America and has been a presenter at Houston SCBWI.
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Tags: break ups, Dana Wright, divorce, relationships