"Murder, Misfits & Mutts" - Chapter 35 - Carmel Dog Tales


“You have to give up the life you have
to get the life that’s waiting for you.”

                                                                                       James Hillman

Chapter 35


Charles Stanton removed his coat and grinned, “Lisa says you are amazing.”

     “Very kind.”

     “So. Amaze me! I feel good. And you’re going to make me look even better!”

     Astrid smiled, nodded.

     “I want the whole enchilada. Gran Patron Platinum, all the way.”

     “Of course,” Astrid said and helped Stanton recline on the Comfort Soul treatment bed. Astrid noticed Stanton giving her the once over.

     “For me to satisfy your needs, you are going to have to relax, loosen your facial muscles, or this will be a waste of my time… and your handsome face.”

     “We wouldn’t want that.” Stanton closed his eyes and strained to relax his jaw.

     Astrid studied his facial landscape. “Actually, your skin is in much better shape than most of my male clients… of a certain age. Lisa said you were in a class by yourself.”

     Stanton was curious as to what else his latest love had said.

     “So, first we need to cleanse the canvas.” Astrid opened a canister and began massaging lotion into his face.


     Fifteen minutes later, Stanton was relaxed and loving the touch of Astrid’s talented fingers.

     “Anybody tell you, you have amazing fingers.”

     Astrid turned to the console on the table behind her.

     “Don’t stop now.”

     “Time for the French Remodel. Wonderful for muscle-toning.”

     “Sounds good. I work out every morning.”

     “Yes. I can tell.”

     Astrid placed wired electrodes with tiny sponges to the muscle groups around Stanton’s mouth, cheeks and forehead.

     “Lisa said you were in business investment.”

     “Something like that.”

     “You might like to know, she also called you her Eros.”

     “Her what?”

     “Eros! The God of love.”

     “Well… If she says so.”

     “She does. Lisa is very into the power of myth.”

     “Ah. You mean like… Batman and Spiderman?”

     Astrid was beginning to have her doubts about Lisa’s Eros. “So, I gather you’re not familiar with this particular myth.”

   “I’m not into fairy tales. Reality is more exciting. The risk/reward of real life. You have to be willing to risk it all if you’re going to make it in this world.”

     “Then you should appreciate the story of Eros. The ultimate risk/reward. Life and death!”

     “Now you’re talking.”

     “In this story, Eros tells the most beautiful Psyche that he will come to her each night and be the lover of her dreams.” Astrid adjusted the control dials on the French Remodel console. “She can live in his palace and have everything she always desired, but she must never see him in the light. Only in the dark of night.”

     “Sounds like a plan,” Stanton said.

     “Eros flies to her each night on great wings of love…”

     “He has wings?”

     “Magnificent wings! Have you ever seen Cupid without wings? He’s not mortal. He’s a God. And he is the greatest of lovers.”

     “If you insist.”

     “But Psyche’s sisters come to visit her in the palace and they convince her that Eros is really a hideous winged serpent, a monster. They tell her that after he comes to her at night and they make love, she must light a lamp to see his face and have a sharp knife ready to cut his head off once she sees the horrible monster Eros truly is.”

     “Go on.”

     “You don’t want me to spoil the story, do you?” Astrid said, more focused on the French Remodel treatment about to begin.

     “Yes. I do.”

     “As you wish. Psyche has the lamp and a knife ready when Eros flies to her that night. He makes the most passionate erotic love to her…”


     “She lights the lamp and sees…”

     “AHHHHHHH!” Stanton yelped like a wounded hound. “Holy shit! What was that?”

     “That was a three,” Astrid said. “Mild stimulation for youthful invigoration of key facial muscles.”

     “You call that mild?”

     “Lisa likes a nine.”


     “Every six weeks. And look at her skin!”

     “Why do you think I’m here? Wasn’t my idea. AHHHHHHHH!”

     “Don’t be a wuss, Charles. That was a five. By the time you get to nine you’ll look thirty-five and be gorgeous.”

     “I’ll be DEAD!”

     “Never. You are Lisa’s Eros. God of love. You will live forever…”

     Stanton liked the sound of that.

     “Unless she sees you in the light of day. And then…?”

     Charles Stanton gave Astrid a cold look.

     Astrid smiled. “Like you said, reality is more exciting. Risk/reward, Charles. Risk/reward.”

~   ~   ~


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