Luna’s tail wagged, swished, and created all kinds of chaos. Chaos Luna hadn’t anticipated earlier when she glued the red ribbon a little above the ear of her dinosaur costume.
She had survived a near tumble up the two steps leading to the doors of the Hastings building. Despite her tiny arms, she’d saved three potted fake trees from tumbling to their demise.
Who’d have thought a fake tail could build that much momentum?
The speckled nylon shielded her from the stares, yet somehow let the appreciative giggles seep in.
And she charmed the old security guard at the door.
Murray was the same age as her grandfather, but that didn’t stop him from seizing any opportunity to flirt. He winked while holding out a familiar shaped orange package. “I have a little something special for the older gals.”
The little basket of saltwater taffy at the edge of the desk validated his words.
Luna’s heart couldn’t have swelled any bigger when she dropped the package of peanut butter cups in her clutch. It swung a little wider with the added weight, making her swish feel that much more sassier.
This had to be Luna’s best idea ever.
Her head lilted to the right on the escalator ride up to the appropriately named, “Fiesta Room.”
It was the side part.
Luna contained the giggle at her own joke.
That was what she called the flower.
She straightened her head, shook her shoulders to ease the anticipation to a comfortable level, and eased the door open. It took more steps than Luna had planned. There were even more when she had to shuffle ahead of it before it collided with her backside.
When she stepped past the line where the door would close, she held up her claws and rawred.
Heads pivoted in synchronicity and all eyes were on Luna.
Either her friend, Marcy, had dropped her appetizer, or she had ducked to avoid Luna’s pleading gaze to save her.
Everyone else was in costume like they said they would be. But they failed to share their theme.
Brad was dressed as a sexy Superman. He even added pomade to his hair to make it look like someone ran her fingers through it.
Behind him, the four front office girls were dressed like the ghosts in the retro game, Pac-man. Their sheets hung just below their seats.
Nate the maintenance man was wearing a yellow shirt with the sleeves cut-off to show biceps thicker than an aged oak tree. A felt triangle adhered to the side hinted that he was trying to be Pac Man.
Barb, from accounting, was the first to speak. “Wow, you take your costumes seriously.”
Her dark brown eyes poked through a black leather masquerade mask lined with onyx cabochons. The dark gems matched the sequins in Barb’s flapper dress. Nobody would have ever guessed she was the straight-laced, stuffy, legal aid who made sure everyone pushed in their file cabinet drawers.
Luna scanned the room. The tail swished on the ground behind her as she rotated, hoping to find someone, anyone who may have also zealously adhered to the guidelines.
Dress so nobody would know who you are.
She wanted to point at Brent who wore a Fred Flinstone costume and say, “I know that it’s you beneath that potato sack.”
Briefly, all eyes shifted to the far corner of the room. Luna’s curiosity got the best of her. She looked in the corner to see another t-rex.
She pipped her excitement. Somebody else was as goofy as her. With little time to lose, she waddled across the room toward him. Or at least she thought it was a him.
He shuffled toward Luna, meeting her in the middle.
It was hard for Luna to tell who it was. The plastic shield reflected off of the man’s glasses.Maybe it was Joey from the mailroom. It made sense, he was just as quirky as her.
Luna practically bounced in excitement. When it was just one person looking different, people stare. Add another anomaly to the equation and people accepted the quirk as the possibility for a trend.
“Nice to meet you.” Luna waved with her miniature t-rex hand. “ I don’t mean to be so primitive, but I have to ask. Is there a Mrs. t-rex joining you?”
The other dinosaur rotated to his right and to his left as though he were making sure Luna was talking to him. He scooted to position himself beside her and said, “As a matter of fact, I don’t.”
Then he grabbed a hold of her free hand. “Can you give me a hand, mine’s kinda short.”
Both costumes shook with their laughter.
“Let me get you a drink,” the boy dinosaur said.
“I don’t accept drinks from strangers.” Luna’s head tilted. She imagined it didn’t have the foreboding effect she intended.
“That’s easy enough to fix. I’m Keldon.”
Luna had worked at Hendricks and Martin Publishing for five years. She had never met a Keldon. “Are you new to the company? I don’t recall hearing your name in conversation?”
“Ah, I work remotely,” Keldon’s voice was muffled by the costume.”
Was he trying to hide something? “What department?” Luna asked.
“Let’s not talk shop,” Keldon reached for the ladle. His head wobbled so hard, Luna worried it would fall in the bowl. He scooped a generous amount of the green carbonated beverage into the cup. He went back for a second scoop and added a dollop of the ice cream that floated on the surface.
“Fair enough,” Luna agreed. “You’ve saved me from a meteor.”
“How so?” Keldon had poured himself a glass of punch and turned around to stand beside Luna.
“If I were the only one here in a dinosaur costume, Bob Hendricks would have certainly noticed me. That’s the last thing I need.”
“Bob isn’t that bad,” Keldon’s voice held a forced optimism like he knew he was pushing it but had to make the effort to defend his employer.
“Oh he’s a nice enough guy,” Luna scanned the room for any signs of her boss. “I’m worried that he’s going to try and set me up with his son. But let’s not talk about Bob or his son.”
Lately Bob had hinted that Luna would hit it off with his son who had just moved back to Ashbrook. Romance in a small town was a difficult dance. It had to be that much harder when the boss’s son was the other partner.
Luna had been the victim of he said-she said. Her ex-boyfriend ended things with her on a Monday to walk around town with a clearly pregnant woman on Friday. The looks of pity about did Luna in.
If things didn’t work with Bob’s son, she’d have to move to another country. Luna preferred living in their small slice of the world, where she knew the best places to walk for a nice view, the best places for a cup of coffee and a sweet treat, and the best places to go for a quiet Friday night. No man was worth losing those creature comforts.
***I love it when people say it isn’t going to happen (mwahahaha)
***the next thousand words will be in the morning