Dapper Doesn’t Do

Wolfgang Von Schmidt, thinking himself the cat’s meow, combs out his wiry whiskers and brushes his bright, white teeth.  Taking his favorite top hat from his closet shelf, he places it between his lupine-like ears, taps the brim with one hand, and smiles.  Pulling on the lapels of his tuxedo jacket, he examines himself in his full-length mirror, thinking himself quite dapper.

He saunters through his penthouse apartment with practiced grace.  He picks up a mahogany cane, taps his right dress shoe three times and leaves.  While he waits for the elevator, Wolfgang hums a happy tune, a seductive tune, a winsome tune.

He walks jauntily through the front doors, waving good-bye to the doorman.

“Out for the evening, sir?’

“Of course,” he replies with a wink and a grin.  “If I’m lucky, I’ll return with a beautiful woman on my arm.”

“Good hunting,” The doorman bows goodbye.

Wolfgang strolls over to a sleek black limo. Wolfgang taps the brim of his hat at the driver before he slithers inside, smiling a wolfish grin.

“Where to, sir?” the driver asks.

“The usual.”

“Your woman’s waiting?”

“Of course.”

They head to the street of lights running through downtown Las Vegas.

Wolfgang knows that Rosa, his current girlfriend, is waiting at Jayto’s, the hottest nightclub in town.  He told her to be there no later than ten, knowing that he’d intentionally arrive thirty minutes later because he loves the grand entrance, smirking as all heads turn and stare while he struts his sexy body across the floor.  Wolf laughs as he imagines the men glowering while women squirm, unable to resist his animal attraction.

Wolf had told Rosa to order champagne and an appetizer to tide her over. But what Wolf had not counted on was that Rosa had little patience for sitting alone, a spectacle, a laughingstock of epic proportions.

Before they started dating, Rosa warned him, “I know your reputation. You should know that I have a rule: You have three chances to impress me and if you don’t meet my expectations, I’ll dump you.”

“No worries, my dear,” he said with a tip of his hat. “I”ll never disappoint you.”

“You’d better not,” she said as she inhaled her cigarette. “I’m not kidding.”

Wolf intentionally made her wait two previous times just to test her resolve, and now he’s on his third. But he knows that Rose is so entranced by his charm, so enthralled by his wolfish good looks, that she’d never walk away.

Tonight, wanting to control every detail, no matter how small, he even went so far as to tell her what to wear, demanding her sexiest red dress, her matching stiletto heels and her mink stole.

What Wolf hadn’t counted on was that sitting has made Rosa angry and the champagne she guzzled in annoyance has given her a massive headache. When he finally arrives with an exaggerated flourish, she watched him tip his hat to the left and right, stopping to whisper in every woman’s ear who smiled his way.

Jealous at the attention that she felt should have been focused on her, her temper rises to a boil.  By the time he arrives at the table, steam is pouring from her ears and her cheeks are crimson with rage.

“Hello, my lovely,” Wolf says as he runs his ungloved hand down her arm and leans down for a kiss.

Rosa shrugs off his clammy paw.  “So, what’s your excuse this time?”

“These big teeth take a long time to brush.” He flashes his sexiest smile and slithers into his chair.

“And I suppose it takes an hour to comb that hair of yours.”

“I have to look my best,” he says.  “My huge eyes are only for you, you know.” He leans forward and bats his eyelids in suggestion of thrills to come.

She snickers.  “I’m not a fairy tale woman that falls for your wily ways.”

“Come on, sweetheart,” he pleads. “Let me hold you in my arms and kiss your soft cheek.  I’m your man, remember?  The one who fills your every need.”

“Not tonight, you jerk.” Rosa picks up her purse, slinging her stole over her pale shoulders, stands. “You can’t expect forgiveness this time. It’s not going to happen.”

“Sit down,” he says while looking around the club to see how much attention she’s garnering.

Wolf’s appalled when he sees people staring with open mouths.  He’s fully aware that his reputation, his suaveness are the talk of the town. His haunting darkness speaks of a wild and uninhibited energy.

He reaches for Rosa’s arm. “Hey, I’ve got a fabulous evening planned.”

“You blew it,” she says as she pulls away. “I’m not the kind of girl who’ll take being embarrassed lying down.”

Wolf wraps his arms around her waist and pulls her into his lap. “Kiss me. I promise it will be worth it.” He pulls her close, puckering his lips, expecting her to melt into his arms.

When Rosa realizes the power of the drama she’s creating, she says in a loud voice, “Get your slimy hands off me.”

“Stay, my lovely maiden,” Wolf pleads.  “Enjoy a nice dinner.  Talk awhile.  I promise to be charming,” he says as he blinks his large brown eyes.

“Look, Wolfgang,” Rosa says, “you love yourself too much and live only to satisfy your own ego.  Well, I won’t stand for it.  I have my needs, you know, and you don’t fit in the picture.”  Rosa stomps out, her gown rustling like the leaves on a forest tree.  Every eye follows her, wide open, for not every day does a gorgeous woman leave her date behind in a flutter of napkins and a chorus of muffled coughs.

As she saunters away, Wolf shrugs and signals the waiter. “Bring me a highball. And a bowl of nuts.”

By the time Rosa exits, he’s simmering. No woman has ever walked out on him. He is the one who dumps them after he tires of their winsome ways.  But this relationship was different and tonight, of all nights, the anniversary of his move to the city, was to be a celebration of a beginning of a new chapter in his life.

Since leaving his home deep in the forest, Wolfgang has never looked back on the family he left behind, the rustic cabin hidden in a waterfall-created cove, his “litter-mates,” as he teasingly calls his siblings, nor even his mother, whom he detests for being primitive in her ways. He loves city life; the adventure of the chase, the game-playing and risk-taking and especially the ladies.  Oh, how he loves the women!

Especially Rosa, who was supposed to be an important part of his future plans.

Because she is the most spectacular woman he’s ever been with, he intended to seal the deal with a visit to his penthouse suite and an aperitif of wolfish delight.

After Rose exits without so much as a glance back, Wolf picks up his napkin and casually drops it on the table as if these things happened every day.  No big deal.

Pushing back his shoulders he rises with elegance.  He winds his way through the tables, ignoring the smirks and guffaws.  He salutes the doorman with a tap to his brim.  Not wanting to wait for his limo, Wolf hails a cab, climbs inside, and gives directions.

He sulks home, dragging his not-to-be fairy-tale tail behind him.  For the first time in his life, a girl has bested him. What is he to do for desert?

3 thoughts on “Dapper Doesn’t Do

  1. This is a fun, FUN retelling of Red Riding Hood! I love the snarky narrative voice, the fact that he doesn’t see himself at all, and the way her dress rustles like the leaves on a tree in the forest when she leaves!

    (There is a story by Karen Russell about werewolf girls who are sent to a girls school run by nuns, that I think you’d enjoy. I don’t remember the name right now.)

    I think there is one implausibility… no one goes to a nightclub at 7:00 pm… probably 10 pm would be early, even for Vegas.


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