The dareMature

This morning Adam stood at the front gate for a few moments, taking in the sad scene before him with a sigh. As he pressed against the gate it gave a loud squeal of protest as it finally gave way and allowed the visitor to move within and to follow the slightly overgrown walk up to the door.  Nearing the house he hears the quiet strains of music escaping through one of the side windows, a dance to be sure, but be it a waltz or something different Adam has no idea.

With a light knock he opens the door for himself, knowing that Andrew would probably not hear it unless he was happening past the door at the moment.  For that matter there was the question of if he would even realize what it was, pulled so far away from reality that the sound may be unrecognizable.

Following the music through the hall and approaching the grand ballroom, or what had been grand in the mansions heydays.  Adam smiles quietly and leans lightly against the door frame, watching Andrew as he dances, moving his way around the room with a wheeled dress form, both dressed as though they were out for an evening on the town, Andrew in a suit and tie, the mannequin in a red gown with lace down the front of the bodice and on the cuffs.

Adam shakes his head, amused, and speaks just loud enough to be heard over the music as he pushes off of the door frame and walk further into the room. "You are quite mad you know Andy,” even as the strange dance continues.

With a smile over his partners shoulder he nods at Adam, "Am I really?  Tell me why is it mad for a man to dance with what is about as close to a perfect woman as there is?"

The music ends and Andrew turns gracefully, bringing his girl to his side and giving Adam a slight bow. His arm going around the forms waist and walking over to Adam, the 'girl' in tow, "Good to see you my friend, would you care to pour us a brandy, we could sit and talk for a bit."

Adam nods and moves toward the bar, asking as he does, "So am I pouring two or three?” reaching for glasses and bottle.

Andrew moves to one of the chairs scattered around the edge of the room, placing his dance partner standing next to it, "Two if course, I've not taken leave of my senses quite so far as to believe my inanimate friend would have the ability to drink."

Handing the drink to the seated man and taking a seat across from him.  Taking a sip he says, "So Andy, tell me how your new love is a near perfect woman as I for one see several flaws in that logic but am willing to listen to your side first."

Smiling as he settles back and takes his own sip the probable mad man begins, "My friend, so many wonderful points. To begin with, she will never disagree with me over anything, even if the clothes I would have her wear were not so flattering she would not protest, if I wish a waltz and she prefers a foxtrot it is a waltz we dance."  Pausing for another sip he smiles and continues, "If I wish a bit of quiet she will not bother me nor does she nag about chores that need be done."

A thoughtful look crosses his face before he adds, "I will admit she is not much for housework but I am more than willing give that up for knowing she will not die and leave me to fend for myself."

Adam chuckles and takes a few sips through his friends side of the discussion taking his argument when Andrew stops, "While some of those points are perhaps valid I would think that a little bit of idle talk, a little warmth, not to mention some other things that a real woman could provide."

"Oh come now, again you give my state as a bit further along than it is, I've not yet got to the point of thinking of my new friend as a lover, agreeably a warm body would be more interesting for that purpose.  Besides, she is not that kind of girl."  After another sip Andrew adds, "Though since I have been alone that has not been something that has been pressing on my mind.  Beth has stopped by now and again through the last several years and seems to be quite willing to take care of my in that manner, but I would feel that it was an imposition to take her up on that."

"Andrew, you are just fifty I know, it seems to me that certain pleasures of the flesh would still be of interest, it's not like you are old and unable, and I believe that you simply have had a lack of visual input to interest you."

With a slight laugh the answer comes, "I am certain that if the need really struck me I could allow Beth to take care of that, and frankly there are enough of the ladies in town that would believe a chance to inherit everything I have, knowing that there is still a decent amount of money left in the estate to keep them after I am gone...perhaps you suggest that I drop some money for one of the ladies of less than pure intent?"

Adam smiles and says, "Those ladies you speak of provide a needed service, can you really imagine that they stopped doing so?  The world would be in chaos, every man that had to do without taking his aggression out on others, it'd be another war."

Andrew holds up his hand, “Is there really anything I am missing with my friend here that you would have with your girl of the moment?"

Adam frowns slightly at the comment, "That was uncalled for, you know I have been with Kat for the better part of three years now."  Taking another sip of his brandy he looks for a moment then smiles," Perhaps I should see if she can get a hold of her friend and bring the both of them over.  You may find out that Becca is perhaps as well behaved as your new friend.  Have you given her a name by the way?"

Andrew gives a chuckle, "So you would bring me a sacrificial lamb?  I am not certain that I have the necessary social skills to lure a young lady to my chambers any more, it's been a long time since I have needed to do that, but I suppose if you are offering to deliver I could at least be a good host to you and the ladies," a moment later asking with a most serious face, "Do you think I should name her?  I mean if we are going to dance I should have something to call her."

Clapping his hand to his thigh, almost spilling his drink as he does Adam replies happily, "Then I will make those arrangements, how would next Friday be?  Want to give you enough time to be ready, not enough to back out."  Taking the last of the brandy in one deep swig he stands and looks at the dress form for a moment, "How about Mandy?  Mandy the mannequin."

Andrew stands also and begins walking to the door with his friend, "Next Friday will be fine, and I'll not back out.  But you know you've a lot of nerve calling me mad and coming up with a name like that." With a crooked smile he adds, "But it's as good as any, so Mandy she will be."

A few more words of good bye at the door and the men go their separate ways, Adam smiling and shaking his head as he hears the music start again before he once again moves through the noisy gate and makes his way down the lane, heading back to the town proper.

The End

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