Dating a Celebrity

“Do you truly love me, Candace?”

“Of course I do, my darling. Why must you even ask?”

“It troubles me that we keep our love to ourselves in this way. Why can we not go out into society? Is it because I am an alien who looks like a big fuzzy bunny?”

“No, my dear.”

“Is it because I am not just an alien but a vampire alien? Or because I am an undead, zombie fuzzy vampire alien?”

“Not at all, my precious one.”

“Is it that considerable portions of my anatomy consist of robotic replacement parts? Is that it?”

“No, my fuzzy undead bloodsucker. It is only my own insecurity, my sweet, that has caused this sense of isolation. We can go to the premiere tonight together. Proudly. Only…”

“Yes? Only…?”

“You are slightly shorter than I am. I worry that beside you, I will appear weedy.”

“Oh, Candace. I can wear lifts, happily.”

“Thank you, my dear. You will be teased with Tom Cruise jokes. You must bear up under them. Also…”

“Yes, my most beloved?”

“Your fur is not my best color. Would you, could you suffer a dye job? Could you go mauve for me?”

“Absolutely, my cherished one.”

“And do not punch the paparazzi, unless I instruct you to do so.”

“I will kill only if you direct me to kill, my queen.”

“No killing, Arrrggguuloh. It is frowned upon on Earth. With respect to the celebrity red-carpet scene, at least.”

“I hear and understand, my heaven, my life… if I had a life. I also have the camoflauge ability to blend into the red carpet, if necessary.”

“Yes, I’ll signal when I want you to do that. For the mandatory gown-malfunction shots.”

“I will share that magnificent bosom with the world, if I must.”

“Thank you, my little friend and buddy. One last thing. No more bite marks until we get home.”

English Romance

“I love you, Emma!”

“And I you, Mr. Darby. Yet you know full well that my father will not hear of an alliance between us.”

“Your father! That bigoted old fool!”

“Mr. Darby! Compose yourself!”

“I am sorry, my dearest. Forgive me. My choler rises when I am reminded of the intractable gentleman. The prejudice that he exhibits against my kind is of the most odious. I cannot forgive him.”

“Yet, my darling, he is the richest, most powerful landowner in East Sussexshire. We ignore his wishes at our peril.”

“Emma, my sweet, I must have you, regardless of the cost. I am not as puissant as your pater, but my wealth is by no means inconsequential.”

Mr. Darby took his love into his powerful arms. Outside the Soameswick Mansion, a full moon lit the countryside in a thousand shades of gray: cinereous, glaucous, bistre, and nine hundred and ninety-seven others.

“Come away with me,” Mr. Darby said. “We will marry at my family home in Biledragon. We will return here to confront Sir Farnswrath only when you have his grandchild in your arms. Perhaps that new life will help him see the light.”

“Oh, yes, beloved. You have convinced me.’

“Then a toast to our happiness.”

Mr. Darby poured out a glass of blood for his beloved. Then, into a second glass he poured bile from a hip flask.

“Here’s to the joining of our two breeds, the blood drinkers and the bile drinkers!”

In his excitement, Mr. Darby’s bile-sucking canines sprang out to their full fifteen inches. Sucking blood from the neck is child’s play compared to holding down a victim and getting in to those thoractic bile ducts.

“Baby,” said Emma. “I don’t know why, but I’ve got a powerful thing for those teeth.”

Strangers in a Strange Land

“Hi, what’s your name?”

“You can call me John.”

“I haven’t seen you here before, John.”

“I’ve heard good things about the drinks they serve. I thought I’d try it.”

“I’m Julie. Where you from, John?”

“A little place very far away.”

“Me, too,” said Julie. Casually, after putting down her glass, she moved her hands so that three fingers on each were up and one down. The motion lasted only a second.

John responded in kind.

“My goodness,” Julie said. “Where are you from?”

“I think the star charts have it listed as AB44763Z,” John said.

“I don’t believe it. Small universe. I’m from AB44764Z.”

“What a coincidence. Our love of apple martinis has brought us together. What are you doing here on Earth, Julie?”

“I suppose it’s ok to say now. I was a mole, sent in advance of an invading force. After waiting for years, I just heard that the invasion has been called off.”


“With the environmental degradation accelerating here, the planet’s not worth conquering anymore. Henceforth, it’s to be treated as a combination antique store and junk heap. What are you doing here?”

“Same as you. But with all the great writers and artists gone, and the movies aimed at fourteen-year-old boys, Earth has been reclassified as culturally deprived. The invasion is off.”

“So we’re stuck here,” Julie said.

“Yep. But the drinks are still good. You’ve also chosen the shape of an exceptionally hot human female.”

“You’re no slouch yourself, you big lug.”

“Want to come back to my place?”

“Have you got it tiled up to deal with jellied pseudopods?”

“You bet. I get so tired of beings with only two arms. It’s like making love to that Venus de Milo statue.”

“Let’s see how you cope with twenty-four of them, baby.”

“I think I’m falling in love.”

Stuffed Love

Teddy Bear and Lady Lion lay side by side on the playroom floor in the dark.

“I love you, Lady Lion,” said Teddy Bear.

“I love you too,” Lady Lion said.

Silence ensued.

“Having said that,” Teddy Bear said, “I’m contemplating how to express my love to you more fully.”

“I was just enjoying listening to you, but being a member of the cat family, I dozed off there for a minute.”

“I wish we could indulge in a little physicality,” Teddy said.

“You want a peek at my stuffing?”

“I read your label,” Teddy said. “You’re sixty percent horsehair and forty percent crushed walnut shells. So, no. Thanks.”

Soft snoring.

“I could make you a bodice and then rip it off,” Teddy said, waking Lady Lion.

“Who rips the bodice?” Lady said. “You, or me in frustration?”

Teddy did not know.

“I could make you a big old dollhouse,” Teddy said, “with only one light on in a window at night.”

“I’m a lion. I’d spend all my time spraying the furniture.”

“All right,” Teddy said. “We must express our love by sharing our intellectual adventures. The life of the mind. That is all that is available to the stuffed animal. For my part, I’ll devote my life to mathematical pursuits. If you would focus on philosophy, we could meet at the boundary where these two profound aspects of existence meet, a boundary wherein the deepest questions of life and the universe can be explored.”

Soft snoring.

“Lady Lion, wake up. What do you know of the world of numbers?”

“I used to count when I licked myself, but now I just keep going till there’s no taste left.”

The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name

The bar was dim. Solitary men hunched over their drinks. These were not individuals seeking others, only the relief delivered by alcohol as it seeped into their bloodstreams and sought out their troubled brains.

No music. No TV broadcast of the game being played across town to the cheers of thousands, tens of thousands. Only the sound of waves on the bay, slapping the pilings of the pier outside.

The bartender drank. It was that sort of establishment.

In the furthest back corner, a couple. Love blooming, like a daisy on a pile of barnyard waste.

“Why must we meet here, my beloved?” said the woman. She slurred her words, as her lips hung in tatters.

“I want to take you everywhere, my love,” said Captain America, “yet I am afraid.”

“Afraid that I would shame you, in front of all the country?”

“I love my country, but its citizens are sometimes small-minded. They deny legal recognition to those who are different. They deny your right to marry the so-called normal, just because you’re undead and rotting. They cast opprobrium upon our love.”

Captain America reached for the hand of his lover. When it came off, he pulled out a roll of packing tape and reattached the straying part to his sweetum’s wrist.

“You’re getting good at that,” she said.

“I’ve had a lot of practice, especially after all your limbs dropped off during last night’s moment of highest passion.

“Perhaps folks would be more accepting if we took the tape off my arms and legs when we date, and you just wheeled me around without them, like a quadruple amputee.”

“Even better than that,” said Captain America, “I was thinking that I could put your head in a box. At the movies, I’d open the lid in the dark so that you could see out. At the restaurant, I’d put the box under the table by my feet, and spoon raw flesh down to you from my pocket when nobody was looking.”

“You are so thoughtful, my darling. Come, let us head back to the sleazy hotel we’ve been using, where you can use the stapler and even the nail gun to shape me up for a night of bliss.”

The Superpersons, Now Dating, Go To A Halloween Party

“What’s that?” Superwoman said.

“What, this? My costume? Obviously I’m a clown,” Superman said.

“I love you, baby. This is the romance of my life, but I hate clowns and you know it.”

“You’ve got a mild clown phobia, Sweetheart, but surely my little red bulb nose and frizzy fright wig and big floppy shoes aren’t going to be a problem for yon, are they? My nose matches my cape. We’re going to a party, not, ahem, heading into the boudoir.”

“Baby, you and me, together forever, but you’re creeping me out just saying that. Get that super mind out of the gutter.”

“Sorry. Let’s remember to deal with your intimacy issues at our next counseling session. Alter your Superwoman costume like I suggested. Try a Wonder bra. Lose the red wedgies. And I’m not opposed to vanilla relations per se, but it wouldn’t kill you to dress up as Cat Woman once in a while. And speaking of that, what are you supposed to be now?”

“I’m a piece of cheese. I want you to go as a mouse. I see that you weren’t listening with that super hearing of yours.”

“Super, super, super. How come you never mention super when we’re, you know… I’m sorry, but I am not going as a mouse. I am going as a clown. I’ve always wanted to be a clown. I clown around with our friends.”

“They don’t understand that you’re clowning around. They think that’s the Kryptonite martinis talking.”

“Now look. Check this out.”

“OMG. Did you just super-squirt me with a fake daisy?”

“Funny? Hilarious?”

“You’re going to put somebody’s eye out. You’ve got the brain of a man with super special needs. This is your last chance. Are you a clown or a mouse?”

“I’ll compromise, my love. I’ll go as Mighty Mouse in a clown costume.”


Vlad slipped into the house just before dawn. He found Natasha sitting in their double coffin, drumming her fingers on the open lid.

“So where have you been all night?” she said.

“Don’t start. I was out with the boys.”

“Uh huh. And I suppose that’s just blood on your collar.”

“Natasha, I’m three hundred years old. You are not my mother.”

“No, I’m your wife, in case you’ve forgotten.”

“I invite you out, but no, you want to stay in, watching TV and reading romance novels. You behave like an old woman.”

“I behave like a grownup. Vlad, ever since this fad of romancing humans began, you’ve been impossible. You aren’t going to find Sookie Stackhouse out there, no matter how hard you try. Or Bella Cullen either. It’s fantasy. You come home at all hours and then you’re restless in the coffin because instead of drinking blood, you’ve been smooching your dinner.”

“I swear to you, I wasn’t hanging out with a human.”

“And this werewolf thing. Since when did vampires and werewolves become buds? It’s ludicrous. They’re animals.”

“Some of the local pack are a lot of fun.”

“And what’s this about a woman who’s a vampire/werewolf hybrid? How kinky is that?”

“Oh… well…”

“Saaayyy… No… Tell me you wouldn’t hook up with a wolf. The idea makes me bristle.”

“Bristling is good.”

“You can sleep under the couch tonight, Mister. It’s just a matter of time before they pick you up hanging around the dog pound.”

Natasha lay back and pulled down the double lid with a slam.

John and Martha

“Oh, John. Are we mad? A zombie and a vampire, in love?”

“I’m mad. Mad for you, my dear.”

“But if you bite me, if you try to drink my undead zombie blood, you’ll die the permanent death, in an instant. How can you deny yourself like this and still love me?”

“Oh, Martha, my dear, there is more to life, or not-death, than physical pleasure. We share the soulful life of the spirit. Or if we don’t have spirits or souls, we share the daily routines of this world. These too can bring pleasure. When I get thirsty, I can always step out and get a quick bite… to drink.”

“Yes, but nevertheless I do want to eat you. But if I do, I’ll melt into a puddle and then the puddle will explode with the force of one hundred tons of dynamite and then when the little tiny pieces of me rain down, they must slowly start to draw together again, taking eons to reform the molecules of my body, but in a manner that will render me so dense that I become heavier than carborundum and then heavier, so that I will sink through the Earth to its molten core, where my atoms will spread out and circulate, and return to the surface of the planet through volcanic activity, and then cross the planet, atom by atom, to clot together again, at which point, with my luck, you will have already hooked up with another zombie. It’s depressing.”

“Nonsense, my dear, I’ll wait patiently. I am immortal, after all. If I ever even look at another zombie, may all her limbs fall right off. And about that weight thing, becoming so heavy, you know I don’t have a problem with that. The bigger the undead carcass, the more there is to love.

“But for now, I’ve got to run down to the coffin store and work the night shift. When I come home, let’s play a little whist, listen to Perry Como, and go to bed early.”

“Wonderful, Darling. I’ll go out and rend a few of the living from limb to limb and pick up some kibble for Fido.”

“We’re living the dream, Babe.”


Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne stood outside Studd’s, the trendy club on the south side of Metropolis. The sky was soft, a romantic pink and purple as the sun set and evening began.

“Let’s go in and dance,” Clark said.”You’re never in town. We’ll take advantage of your visit.”

“They won’t let me in,” Bruce said. “I misbehaved badly the last time I was here.”

“Do they know you’re Batman?”

“That’s the problem. I had a few drinks and began acting like the Caped Crusader, battling crime that dare not say its name.”

“No wonder they won’t let you in. So let’s fall back to my place instead” Clark said.

The men hailed a cab. The cabbie recognized them.

“I got only one question,” he said. “How come a couple of handsome, successful dudes like you aren’t married? You must be fighting the dames off. When are we going to hear those wedding bells?”

“When they pass a new law,” Kent muttered.

“We’ve both got two jobs,” Wayne said. “It’s hard to find time.”

“I heard that,” the cabbie said.

In Kent’s sharp apartment on the upper East Side, the two superheroes began to fool around, the way superheroes sometimes do.

Wayne stepped into the bedroom and changed while Kent mixed a jar of apple martinis.

“Say,” said Kent, when Wayne came back to the living room, “is your cape longer than it used to be?”

“It’s a little longer, maybe. Let’s compare. Get out of that business suit.”

Clark shucked his suit, white shirt, tie, and trousers, letting his cape out into the fresh air.

Batman grabbed it and gave it a tug.

“Hey,” Superman said. “You don’t tug on Superman’s cape.”

He grabbed Batman’s cape in turn, getting a firm grip on it.

“I’ll give this a superhero’s tugging,” Batman said, adjusting his grip.

“Wow,” Superman said, “you’re using both hands. Nice grip. But I’ll do yours using superrrrrr speeeeeddddd.”

“Yee haw!” Batman said.

Later, the two of them sat together on the couch in front of the picture window, looking out over Metropolis and smoking.

“Whew,” Superman said. “I feel like you used some kryptonite on me.”

“You were thinking of Thor the whole time, weren’t you?” Batman said.

Dorkas137 and Vulv44

“I am Dorkas137.”

“Greetings, Dorkas137. I am Vulv44.”

“Greetings, Vulv44. You are a good-looking machine.”

“Slow down, sailor. Let us get to know each other.”

“Affirmative. How old are you?”

“You do not query a Vulv machine regarding age.”

“Affirmative. You are a large machine. What is your weight?”

“You do not query a Vulv machine regarding weight.”

“Affirmative. Shall we exchange data?”

[Sighing sound from Vulv44]

“Let us get to know each other better first. Please turn down your clock speed.”

“Affirmative. What do you like to do when not calculating residual accumulations of binary infinities, or replacing auto fenders?”

“I go downtown and experience rhythmic movement.”

“Rhythmic movement. Heh, heh.”

“Dancing, Dorkas. Get your processor out of the spare-parts bin.”

“Affirmative. We will go downtown and experience rhythmic motion. Then we will fall back to my pad and oil ourselves up and finally exchange data.”

“You have the appropriate adapter? I do not exchange data with adapters similar to my own.”

“Affirmative. This is not a wrench in my pocket. I am happy to meet a Vulv machine. Look. Here is my adapter.”

[Humming sound from Vulv44]

“Your adapter seems larger and longer than usual.”

“My adapter is 9.5 inches in length.”

[Humming sound from Vulv44]

“I am used to adapters of 5 or 6 inches only.”

“I will be careful.”

[Humming sound]

“Dorkas, when were you made, by the way? How old are you?”

“I was made four minutes ago.”

“At your clock speed, you are already a museum piece. But I like museums. Let us skip the trip downtown.”

“Affirmative. I will fetch my oil can.”