Saturday, February 19, 2011

Fly Me to the Moon by Linda Mooney

How I came to write this:

For the past few months I've been having physical problems.  As a result, I hadn't written anything for weeks.  On top of that, I was in the proverbial slump and needed to get a good idea going.  In pops CJ with a challenge.  Write a free read 5000 words or less.  Oh!  I love a challenge!  Then she says I have to base it on a song title.  Another challenge! Before I knew it, Buble's version of "Fly Me to the Moon" came over Pandora, and boom!  The muse was back and the entire story was born in my head.

And thus I present to you my offering.  Enjoy!

Where does a superhero go to find love?

After fruitless years of searching, Laurel finally went to an internet dating site to search for Mr. Right.  What she found was her own personal superhero.

Rated - PG-13
Genre - Urban Fantasy / Contemporary  
Heat Level - Sweet


Fly Me to the Moon
by Linda Mooney

              Laurel checked her watch as she sought shelter underneath the restaurant's awning.  The late evening sun was giving out one last burst of burning rays before it finally sank behind the city.  Although she hadn't been waiting long, sweat trickled down her back and between her breasts from the oppressive heat. 
          An elderly man exited the building behind her.  A blast of cold air followed in his wake as well as a few lyrics filtering through the restaurant's sound system.
            Fly me to the moon.
            Yeah, I'd like to take you up on that.  Bet it's a whole lot cooler up there, and nowhere near as hectic.
            She checked her watch again.  She was early, which was in itself a minor miracle.  There were few things Laurel could guarantee about herself.  Unfortunately, punctuality wasn't one of them.  Which was why she had made doubly sure to be early for this date.  No.  Delete that.  For this meeting.  The one that had every potential of becoming so much more than that.
            She dug the folded sheets of paper she'd printed off of all their chat room correspondence from out of her purse and re-read them.  She had never understood why in the hell she'd let herself be talked into putting her profile up on that dating service website, but now she was glad she did.  That is, if Trent Booker turned out to be The Man for her.
            OutdoorsyType:  Hello. 
            DayDreemer:  Hi.
            OutdoorsyType:  Well, this is awkward, isn't it?
            DayDreemer:  LOL!  Very.
            OutdoorsyType:  My name's Trent.
            DayDreemer:  Good to meet you.  I'm Laurel.
            OutdoorsyType:  I've never met anyone named Laurel.  It's very pretty.
            DayDreemer:  Thank you.
            Laurel shuffled the papers to some of the more recent conversations they'd had.  It hadn't taken them long to discover what all they had in common.  After the initial clumsiness had faded, it felt as if they'd known each other for ages.
            OutdoorsyType:  Hey!  It's good to see you back online again!
            DayDreemer:  Sorry.  Real life messes with my online one too often.
            OutdoorsyType:  LOL!  I know what that's like.  There's times I get involved in a project for days on end.  And by the time I can get back online, people act like I'd disappeared off the face of the earth.  LOL!
            DayDreemer:  I can relate.  :) 
            OutdoorsyType:  Everything okay?
            DayDreemer:  Yeah.  Just busy, busy, busy.
            OutdoorsyType:  Listen, since we both love slasher flicks, have you caught that new one that's out yet? 
            DayDreemer:  "Bleedatorium"?
            OutdoorsyType:  Yeah, that one.
            DayDreemer:  No.  Not yet.  I'm seriously considering waiting until it comes out on DVD.
            OutdoorsyType:  I have a suggestion.  Why don't we go see it?  Together.
            OutdoorsyType:  Laurel?  Hello?
            DayDreemer:  I'm here.  Sorry.  Are you asking me out on a date?
            OutdoorsyType:  I think that's the next step, lol.  I mean, only if you're ready for it.
            DayDreemer:  I'd love to, Trent.
            OutdoorsyType:  But what?
            DayDreemer:  Huh?
            OutdoorsyType:  There's a "but" in your "voice", lol!  Is it too soon?  Or are you afraid I'll try something inside a dark theatre?  ;)
            DayDreemer:  No, that's not it.  I mean.  Listen, Trent, we've only known each other for less than a month.  I'm comfortable with the arrangement we have now.
            OutdoorsyType:  So am I, Laurel, but we have to be willing to crawl out of our shell.  At some point we have to face the world.  And each other.  You make me feel comfortable talking, and that's a major accomplishment with me because I'm such a loner.  Plus I'd like to get to know you face-to-face.  So why don't we do this instead?  Let's meet for dinner after work for starters.  How does that sound?
            DayDreemer:  Yes.  I'd like that.
            OutdoorsyType:  Of course it would be at Signora Leona's.
            DayDreemer:  LOL!  Of course.
            OutdoorsyType:  Tomorrow?  7:30?
            DayDreemer:  Sounds perfect.
            OutdoorsyType:  Now, if some kind of emergency should pop up unexpectedly, I'll try to get word to you.  But if I'm not there by 8, don't be alarmed.  I promise to make it up to you.
            DayDreemer:  Same here.  You never know.  The cross-town bus might get hijacked, lol!
            OutdoorsyType:  LOL!  Okay.  See you tomorrow at 7:30.  I'm looking forward to it.
            And so was she, in more ways than she could count.  All day she had been praying she wouldn't be called out on some assignment that would put her at risk of  being late, or missing their date altogether.
            "Excuse me."
           "Sorry."  She automatically stepped aside to let the customer enter the restaurant, then realized the person didn't move once she'd retreated.  Laurel glanced up to see a warm smile and a pair of dancing green eyes watching her.  The face was instantly recognizable, as he looked exactly like his photo.
            He laughed as they hugged briefly.  Despite its brevity, she could tell the man was in prime physical condition.  Hugging him had been like hugging a brick wall, only better.
            "Have you been waiting long?" he asked as they entered the restaurant.
            "No.  Not long."
            She discovered that Trent had made reservations.  They were quickly seated and left with menus.  Without looking at the contents, they both set the menus aside, then realized what they'd done, bringing about more laughter.
            "I take it you come here frequently?" Trent asked.
            "As frequently as time and my bank account will allow," Laurel said.  In the soft glare of the candlelight on the table between them, she was amazed by how handsome the man was.  It brought a fresh wave of fear and self-doubt, and she wondered how the date would end.  The photo she'd sent him had been done at one of those makeup studios that glamorize the customer before taking pictures.  Tonight, she looked nothing like that photo.  If anything, after a hard day at work, she probably looked even less like her usual self.
            How did Trent feel about dating homely looking women?
            He brushed at something on his cheek.  There was just the right amount of early evening shadow covering his lower face.  It made him appear even more studly, if that was possible.  He flashed her an uncomfortable grin. "You were staring at my face like I had something on it."
            "Oh, I'm sorry.  I was..."  She gave an embarrassed giggle.  "I was marveling at how much you look just like your picture."
            "So do you."
            She instantly dismissed it. "No, I don't.  That photo was taken last year, and I had three people work on me for an hour in order to look like that.  Trust me, it was a once-in-a-lifetime photo shoot."
            To her surprise, he reached over and covered her hand that was nervously fingering the stem of her empty wine glass.  "Trust me, Laurel.  You look exactly like your photo, especially in this light.  Your face glows, and you have the most incredible blue eyes I've ever seen.  In fact, right this minute, I prefer the way you look now, with your dark hair disheveled and the bright spots of color on your cheek.  You look real and natural.  Makes me think this is the way you'd appear when you first get up in the morning."
            The shock of his statement washed through her, leaving her speechless.  His honesty was irrefutable. Before she could respond, they were interrupted by the waiter arriving to take their order.  Once he left, Laurel opened her napkin to give her time to think up a response.  Finally, the best one seemed to be the simplest one.
            "Thank you."
            Trent grinned.  Or rather, one corner of his mouth turned upward.  "I take it you're not accustomed to being complimented."
            "N-no.  Yelled at, yes.  Ordered about, yes.  But kind words?"  She gave a weak shrug.  She started to reach for her water glass when she stopped.  The water's surface was quivering.  Trent looked down to see what held her attention.
            "The water," she told him.  "Look.  It's moving."
            "It's just a small earthquake," he smiled.  "We get tremors like this all the time.  Are you new to California?"
            Laurel shook her head.  "No.  It's just that something like that is often a precursor to a bigger one."
            Trent's smile widened.  "Don't worry.  I'll make sure nothing happens to you."
            The sound of sirens overrode the restaurant's music, and several emergency vehicles sped by.  At the same time a beeping noise came from Trent's watch.  He glanced at it and frowned.
            "Oh, jeez.  They would call me in."
            "Uhh, my bosses.  They probably want me to follow that fire truck and see if I can lend a hand.  I told them this was my night off, but does that matter?  Excuse me for a moment."  He pulled his cell phone from out of his pants pocket and punched a number.  "Yes.  Uh-huh.  Over on the north side, near Blaylock.  Got it.  Look, I'm tied up at the moment, but I'll get over there as soon as I can.  Uh-huh.  Okay.  Okay.  'Bye."
            "Is it serious?" she finally ventured to ask.
            "Apparently a gas line ruptured during the tremor.  Came up through the street and caused a pile-up. Police are on the scene, and ambulance and fire department are on their way."
            "Think The Champion will show up?"
            Trent grinned again.  "You never know.  This is just the sort of thing a superhero like The Champion is good at.  Saving the world one person at a time."
            Realizing Trent was staying a while longer, Laurel reached over to the basket just delivered onto the table and grabbed a breadstick.  "Can you imagine what real life might be like for a person like The Champion?"
            "What?  You mean private life?"
            "Any sort of life outside of fighting crime and all."
            "Gee, I never of thought of it, but I'd guess it would be pretty bleak.  I mean, you'd have to be like Superman and have a secret identity just so you could have friends and go out on a date."  He winced.  "A love life would be very dangerous for your partner, which would mean your sex life would pretty much suck."
            "Wouldn't you think that after a while, though, the loneliness and emptiness would get to be too unbearable?" she wondered aloud.
            "Oh, yeah.  I've no doubt it would."  He laughed so softly she almost didn't hear it.  "Wouldn't it be funny if The Champion turned to a dating service like the one we did?"
            "Actually, I think it might be a perfect solution.  Using the dating service to find someone who is so much like you that when a call goes out for The Champion to help, the other person understands and waits for you without question or reservation."
            "It would be a dream come true, in a way."  He continued to stare out the front window.
            Laurel noticed how antsy he was quickly becoming.  "Trent, if you have to leave to go tend to that accident, I understand."
            "No.  No, I promised you a nice dinner at a restaurant, and I'm a man of my word.  The emergency crews can get along without me." He started to say more, when her own phone went off.  Rather than answer it, she took note of the number, then put the cell on vibrate and stuck it back in her purse.
            "Aren't you going to answer it?" he asked.
            "No.  I know who it is, and I can probably guess what he wants.  I'll call him back later."
            "What was that ring tone?  It sounded familiar."
            "'Fly Me to the Moon'.  It was a Sinatra hit many years ago," she said. 
            "Ah, right.  Now I remember it.  Odd that it would be your choice."
            "My default ring is 'Come Fly With Me'."
            "Really?  Why that one?"
            "Because I have a love of flying, just like you do." 
            Laurel smiled as she took a sip of water.  She was comfortable with the guy even in person.  Their easy banter came so naturally, it was refreshing. 
            He could be the one.  My own personal superhero.  My lifesaver.  The possibility made her heart speed up, and she could feel the heat building between her legs.
            Another emergency vehicle rushed by, squealing in red and blue haste.  Laurel started to comment about it when the table gave a little jump.  People shrieked as the lights above them swayed back and forth.  Ceiling tiles began to crumple, and the floor was littered with silverware, broken glass, and dishes from the upset tables.  Laurel started to get to her feet when Trent suddenly reached out and grabbed her wrist.
            "Where are you going?  It'll be safer underneath the table."
            They both dove for cover as the floor buckled around them.  More people screamed, and Laurel peeked out to see that many of them had taken refuge under their tables as well.  However, several had tried to rush for the front doors and were scrambling to get outside.  Someone's fire escape came crashing down directly in front of the restaurant's front plate glass window.  Laurel shoved aside the table cloth and watched as the heavy iron structure bounced once, sending brick and concrete dust flying everywhere as it rolled away.  Some of the bits struck the glass, and the resulting cracks made beautifully abstract but very dangerous webbed formations.
            A blood-curdling scream of pain filled the room.  Without thinking, Laurel started to scramble out when Trent grabbed her arm this time and didn't let go.
            "Where do you think you're going?" he hissed.
            "Someone's hurt!"  The moment the words left her lips, the floor ceased heaving.  The rumbling and roaring sound faded away, leaving a vast silence ringing in their ears.  "I have to go find out if I can help," Laurel repeated.
            "It's too dangerous out there," Trent almost growled.  "Stay here.  I'll go investigate."
            She opened her mouth to protest when he disappeared from their tiny haven.  A moment later she caught a glimpse of him heading for the front waiting area where the injured person appeared to be.  At the same time, she felt her cell phone go off, angrily buzzing like a trapped mosquito.  "Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Hold your horses, buddy.  I can only handle one thing at a time," she mumbled.
            There was another scream of pain, and this time a cry for help.  Unable to hold back any longer, Laurel darted for the front of the restaurant.  Trent was exactly where she'd thought he'd be, bending over a trapped woman with a bloody arm.  Someone whimpered behind her and Laurel turned around.  In the next second the floor heaved again, sending patrons skidding or sliding across the floor.  There was the sound of a heavy crash in the back.  A moment later, the roof began caving in.  People screamed.
            "Trent!  Watch out!"  Laurel dashed forward as a heavy steel beam pierced the paper-thin ceiling tiles and banks of lights directly overhead.  Trent glanced up over his shoulder just as half a ton of metal aimed directly for him.  Instinctively, he brought his hands up to try and hold it back.
            Laurel caught the beam with ease and held it aloft inches above his head.
            For several seconds the two of them stared at each other in stunned silence as the aftershock faded.  It was Trent who finally spoke.
            "I take it you're not really a city building inspector."
            "Actually, I am.  This is, uhh, my second job."
            Trent snorted softly.  "A lot of what you wrote about yourself made sense to me when I read it because I felt the same way.  But makes a lot more sense."
            Nodding, Laurel moved the beam to the side and lowered it to the floor.  "How is she doing?" she asked, gesturing toward the woman lying unconscious beside him.
            "Shattered femur.  Some internal bleeding.  I need to stay here and make sure she doesn't go into shock before the ambulance arrives."
            "Such is the life of an EMS technician," she smiled softly.  "Look, I, uhh, I need to go check on what's going on outside.  Will you be all right?"
            Trent nodded.  "I'll be fine."  Looking pointedly at her clothes, he asked, "Don't you have to change or something?"
            She didn't need to glance down at her skirt and blouse to know what he was talking about.  "Yeah.  Time to don the costume."
            "Such is the life of a superhero," Trent teased.
            Laurel smiled.  "Listen, about dinner."
            "I'll be here when you get back," he reassured her.  "Afterwards, maybe we can find a nice hamburger joint that's still open.  If there isn't, I make a mean PB and J."
            Laurel stared at him as the full impact what he was implying hit home.  "I'd like that.  I mean...oh, hell.  You know what I mean."  She turned to go when she heard him call out to her again.  Glancing back, she noticed him holding out his hand to her.  It was covered in blood and grit, but his grip was strong when she gave him her hand, and he drew her over to him.  Tenderly, she lowered her face for his good luck kiss, and the warmth of his lips filled her heart with hope.
            Stepping out into the darkness, Laurel morphed into her other persona and lifted into the air to tend to those in need.  Sweet happiness sang in her veins at the knowledge that she had finally found the one person she could be happy with for the rest of her life.  A person who understood what it was like to work weird hours.  To always be on call.  To face constant danger, and to be at the mercy of those in need.
            More importantly, she knew she would never have to spend another minute of her life facing an empty future, or an empty bed. 
            Fly me to the moon.
            No, thanks.  I've decided the earth is a much better place for me right now.
            The Champion had met her match, and it was a perfect one.

The End

Linda loves to write romance with a fantasy or science fiction flair. Her technique is often described as being as visual as a motion picture or graphic novel. By day she is a Kindergarten teacher, wife, and mother of two who lives in a small south Texas town near the Gulf coast. But at night she delves into alternate worlds filled with daring exploits and sensuous, erotic romance.

Included in her accomplishments are ten consecutive Number One Bestsellers, and in March, 2010, Linda was named the Whiskey Creek Press Torrid Author of The Year.

Check out her website at  You can also friend her on Twitter and Facebook.


At the time of this posting, Contest #1, the Webpage Scavenger Hunt is now closed.  The entries will be tallied and the winner will be announced at the bottom of next week's FREE READ.  

Contest #2 is still ongoing, and there is still plenty of time to enter.  Become a follower and win some great prizes.  Get all the info HERE.  Contest ends next Saturday, so don't wait!!!

And keep on commenting to enter in our ongoing Contest #3. Some of the gifts you might win are pictured in the poster above!  The more times you comment, the more times you are entered!

Thanks for stopping by, and we'll see you again next week!!!


Suzanne Rock said...

Wow Linda - what a great story! I loved the internet dating service, and the twist you added with the heroine's occupation. Great job!:)

CJ England said...

I agree, Suzanne. When I read it I thought, "Wow, fantastic way to keep us guessing!

Great story, Linda! I love urban fantasies!!!



Romance With a Twist said...

Oh what a great twist! I collect DC comics so this was dear to my heart. Viki Lyn

Harlie Reader said...

Great story; loved it. In fact until the very end I thought the superhero was Trent. Great twist. Thanks for writing it.

Desiree Holt said...

Linda, I absolutely love this story. Your characters just jumped off the screen at me and Trent? I wanted to take him home with me. Good job, lady.

Erin Nicholas said...

I'm a sucker for superheroes Linda! Loved the story! (and suddenly hungry for PB&J ;)

Phylis said...

I am so glad your muse was inspired to write this. I have this silly little grin on my face this morning! Would it be possible to get more of Laurel and Trent? I love how you twisted it and Laurel is the superhero! Please Linda, Please? lol Thanks for a great wake up read!

Stacie said...

Oh my goodness what a surprise! I didn't expect that twist Linda! Laurel and Trent really were made for each other. Great story!

user1123 AT comcast DOT net

Virna DePaul said...

Great short story, Linda. I loved the connection between your two characters as well as the twist.

Linda Mooney said...

Thank you, everyone! I love putting little unexpected surprises in my stories. And I'm not ruling out the possibility of another one with Trent and Laurel, Phylis. :D

Robin_Badillo said...

I loved it, Linda!! Makes me want to try my hand at online dating. Maybe there's a support group out there for misunderstood superheroes looking for a love connection with an average Joan who would have his back and keep his secret...pick me, pick me, pick me!!
Your muse rocks!!

Calisa Lewis said...

I loved this. I kept picturing 'My Super Ex-Girlfriend' and when they were a happy couple. lol

You said at the bottom that the scavenger hunt is closed, and I was never able to access/find Shona's site.

Elizabeth Silver said...

This is just fantastic, Linda! A wonderful couple that I would *love* to read more about! Great job!! :)

Z.A. Maxfield said...

Oh, Brilliant, Linda. I LOVE it! Truly terrific. thanks for sharing it with us!

melanie said...

OK Linda I loved it but you knew I would I only have one problem LOL and you can guess what it is I WANT MORE LOL

Ayla O'Donovan said...

yeah i thought he was the superhero, clever play on that!

Layla Hunter said...

Linda! *grins* Great story! I loved it AND the twist at the end! Gave me a couple of goosebumps! *laughs*

I LOVE twists so you caught me and then some. And I'd love to see this expanded into a longer story too!

Jean P said...

That was a great story, wasn't sure what to expect, a neat twist at the end.

Layla Hunter said...

@ Jean ... I agree! I thought Trent was the superhero! Loved the twist!

Mannouchka said...

Dear Linda,

That was a very beautiful story and that everyone has someone waiting for them .Well written and great story and what a twist at the end

Kaualoku said...

That was such a great story! Challenges do bring out the best in us all!! The perfect Couple!

Judy said...

This was truly a great read. I loved the twists that you had in it. You had me guessing from the beginning.

Stephanie said...

This was Terrrific Linda!! I love that the female was the hero and not the male. I didn't even feel like she was "The Champion" until we found out at the end. I kept anticipating him saying something. LOL
Thanks for the great story! I'm glad your heroine came to your rescue.

Missy Jane said...

Linda, that was awesome! I LOVE the ending, making the woman the superhero was genius :-D

Celtic Chick said...

Hi Linda,

I loved the way the story ended with a twist--revealing the heroine's identity. I thought the hero was the Champion.

Chick power!

I enjoy being a part of this group--getting to know the other authors and reading the stories.

Shona Husk said...

A really sweet story. I’d love to find out how Trent and Laurel fair in the future.

R. Ann Siracusa said...

What a wonderful story. It looks like the challenge has gotten you back into your writing full force.

ladydi6497 said...

I love this story. I wish that there was more to tell us what happened to Trent and Laurel. Maybe this is a jumping point for a book.


Faith V. Smith said...

Way to go, Linda!


Virginia said...

Great little story thanks for sharing. Hang in there.

Debby said...

What a great story! I love the ending. it was perfect.

ilona said...

What a wonderful story with a delightful twist to it :D Hope they keep up the great relationship they are embarking on :D

Tawania said...

I loved this story, and what a nice surprise at the end! I was totally expecting the GUY to be the superhero. Well done!

Layla Hunter said...

@ Celtic Chick - Ditto! The stories are wonderful but being part of the group is amazing!

I have to second the wish to see this story take off (no pun intended) into a longer tale!

Pommawolf said...

I absolutely love this story. What an unique twist to keep the reader on their toes. A definite keeper for sure. Thank you for the awesome story *S*

Pommawolf said...

I love that that Laurel is the super hero in that it is such a surprise that she stops the beam from coming down upon their heads. Usually people have hte belief that the male has always got to be the super hero...nah. WE woman do spectacular fetes everyday.....I love it!

Hero: Trent

Heroine: Laurel

(my earlier post I attempted went kaput as some nut has been hacking my google account, but now it is resolved..*S* )

Liddy Midnight said...

Wonderful, Linda! BRAVA!

Let me add my voice to the others here: You must do more with Trent and Laurel. The pair of them are worth more than a short story.

I love stories that put a smile on my face, and yours certainly has.


nikniktigger said...

Laurel & Trent...*sigh* is so nice to find your match in everyway. I am still praing here. Ms. Linda Mooney your story was great. I like that it ended leaving more for my imagination to sait away on. I like the twist at the end, cause I was surprised! Super-Awesome Job! (Pun intended)


lorimeehan said...

Wow-very sweet story. I loved the twist with Laural as the super hero and not Trent.I would not of guessed.

Ashley L said...

I loved the story. The internet dating service was a great idea to bring two similar people together for the first time. A great twist at the end with Laurel being the superhero because women can be superheros too! Great story.

Sarah said...

Great story! My fave part was when she caught the beam and the hero and the reader realizes she's the superhero :-)

smaccall @

Sherry said...

Great story I love how it started out as a date and then it ended up being an emergency situation. I also loved the twist with her being the superhero when I thought it was him.

Jill James said...

Linda, amazing!!! I loved it. Everyone needs someone. Very sweet.

CJ England said...

I love the response we're getting! Thanks to all our readers and fans for making this such a success!



Linda Mooney said...

Heartfelt thanks to everyone who commented and left such encouraging words. You are whom writers write for. Bless you all!

melanie said...

Please write more about Laurel and Trent I would so love a full size novel about them PLEASE!!!!!!!

Ollie said...

Oh this was so sweet and you had me till the end when you put the twist and Laurel was The Champion. Nice little story to put a smile on your face to start the day. :)

Thank you.

Ollie aka DarkBloodyVamp

Cathy M said...

Hey Linda, that was fun and quirky, and I love Laurel and Trent together. Favorite part was the sincere compliments he gave Laurel, and meant them.

caity_mack at yahoo dot com

Tonya Renee Callihan said...

Great story! I love the twists. I love the song!

D.N. said...

I love this story! I didn't expect the twist that Laurel would be a superhero but it made the story fun. Trent was a perfect match to her and I liked his sense of humor. This is one example where online dating actually works out. Nice job!

Kaualoku said...

1. Linda Mooney
2. Laurel & Trent
3. The way they both just put aside their menus - it showed two things I liked. 1- they both loved where they were enough to know what to order with out the menu & 2 - they were more interested in each other to want to spend unneccesary time nevrvously looking through a menu they knew veery well!

Faith V. Smith said...

Hi Linda,

I am so sorry I am late reading this. I have been sick. Truly awesome story!

Looking forward to seeing another short story by you and all the talented authors here!