This was where my original thoughts for Dinner Date, particularly Diederick’s character, were explored. Honestly, it kind of still works as some level of backstory for him, though not in every way. It’s a lot more slice-of-life-y than Dinner Date has ended up being with only some brief allusions to the horror elements. The pseudo-counselor character’s down-to-earth attitude is fun to play off of Dee’s rude behavior, but I didn’t really have a good sense of her motivation, hence this particular iteration not being the one I used going forward. As you can see, I wasn’t even sure about either of these characters’ names.
Warning for some foul language, descriptions of nudity, and the slightest bit of body horror.
The creature shows up to her front door wearing a young human body, a backpack slung over one shoulder and a suitcase in tow. He smiles at her, all soft lips and straight white teeth. If those teeth seem the slightest bit too long and sharp, she doubts victims notice before it’s too late.
The body is meant to appeal to them, after all. Feathery brown hair hangs to the base of his neck. A spray of freckles across the bridge of his nose and cheeks further emphasizes a sunkissed, youthful appearance. A graphic tee with the logo worn away peeks from between the sides of his open pink button-up.
She waves at the driver that dropped him off.
He looks over her shoulder. “Hey, old lady. It’s not just you in there, is it?”
She’ll be forty-two in August. “It’s just me.”
“Fuuuck,” he whines, squeezing his eyes shut. “I figured, but I didn’t want it to be true.”
The whole point is to separate him from his prey, lonely young twenty-somethings who he tears into the second they let him too close. She’s his probation officer, landlady, and pseudo-therapist all rolled into one. It’s a very dangerous idea, but she owes the little demonling’s mother a favor.
“Little” relatively, anyway. He towers over her.
“Come in.” She turns away without looking to see if he follows.
Upon entering the living room, she settles in to a chair, expecting him to sit on the couch across from her. He doesn’t, just to be contrary, she thinks. Instead, he examines the knick-knacks she has on a shelf. Mostly they’re ugly souvenirs her daughter got her while traveling for her job.
He picks up a snowglobe with an approximation of Marie Antoinette in it and shakes it. “So what’s your deal?”
“I’m like a counselor.”
He scoffs at the wording. “‘Like?’ No license, then?”
“They don’t make licenses for monster counselors,” she says flatly.
He smiles, setting the snowglobe down.
Pushing her hair back, she says, “We’re having dinner in a couple of hours. How do you like your steak?”
“I’ll eat it raw.”
She cocks an eyebrow. “Medium-rare it is.”
His table manners are as bad as she expected. The tablecloth near him winds up a mess. He turns his nose up at the vegetables at first, though he regains interest once some of the blood leaks onto them. He’s very childish. She wonders how much of it is an act. She eats far more slowly, with measured bites, and he gets impatient towards the end.
The night passes uneventfully after that. She half expects him to run away, but when she looks in his room he’s deep asleep, unstable form shifting every few seconds.
The next morning, he lazes on the couch in the nude watching cartoons. There’s a bowl of cereal made up disproportionately of milk in his lap. His torso and crotch are smooth as river rocks, no navel or nipples. Ken doll anatomy.
“Oh, whoops,” he says when he sees her.
And before her eyes he grows a pair of dark brown nipples and a navel sinks into place in his lower belly. It’s mesmerizing and kind of gross. She doesn’t look any lower to see if he’d corrected that, too.
“You like guys with big, squeezable pecs, grandma? I can make ’em bigger for you. Hairy, too.”
She suppresses the urge to roll her eyes. “Do you want anything else to eat?”
He stirs his cereal with a spoon. “Pussy, but you didn’t have that in your little pantry. Now you answer my question—you wanna look at some instant chest augmentation? Fat or muscular or both. Pick one.”
“You’re so boring.” He throws his spoon down but only manages to splatter himself with milk. “Would you like me better if I was a chick instead of a dude?”
He so desperately wants her interest and approval. Interesting.
“Not especially,” she says.
He gives her a searching look. “What about both? Neither?”
“You can be yourself.” Trite but true.
He sets his jaw, listlessly stirring his cereal. “I don’t know who that is.”