Author's Note – This is SUPPOSED to be a bad story. It was for speedrent, and that was the prompt. So no hating reviews, please.
Disclaimer: Rent is not mine. SOOOOO not mine.
It was late. Very late. Around midnight or so. When most people would be sleeping in their beds, dreaming of bunnies or daffodils or something like that. But Mark Cohen, film maker extraordinaire, was not most people. Nope, he was a true artist! He lived with his best friend, Roger Davis, Roger's girlfriend April Ericsson, his other best friend, Tom Collins, his other best friend Benny Coffin (the III), and the love of his life, Maureen Johnson. They were all artists: Roger was a guitar player with rockin' hair. April was a painter who used everything but markers in her paintings. Tom Collins – wait, he wasn't really an artist. He actually taught, at a university. Benny was a writer who sometimes wrote screenplays for Mark's movies. And Maureen – oh, Maureen! She was an angel. With dark brown locks of hair the color of mud, and pale skin that reminded him of his white security blanket, Maureen was a performance artist and the love of his life. She was out that night, and Mark was waiting up for her. Like always, he thought as he curled a strand of honeysuckle-colored hair around his finger. But she always made it up to him, calling him Pookie and giving him soft kisses all over his feet.
Finally, after what seemed like hours but was only about 37 minutes and 12.4 seconds, Mark heard a knock on the door. Who else could it be but Maureen, he thought to himself, heading for the sliding door into their apartment.
When Mark opened the door, his jaw dropped. Standing seductively against the frame of the doorway, a short blond bodacious beauty was staring right at him with eyes the color of the emerald necklace she wore around her neck. When she smiled, the brightness of her teeth bounced off of Mark's glasses, hurting his eyes a bit.
"Um, hi," he said nervously. He usually wasn't in the company of beautiful women. Except Maureen, of course. "Um," he repeated, pushing his thin glasses up his strong and masculine nose, "Who are you?" As happy as he was to have this gorgeous woman in front of his door, he was a little suspicious of this late night caller.
"You don't need to know my name" the stranger replied, pulling Mark by his attractive scarf so that his lips met hers, which were as red as rubies. They engaged in a long kiss, so long, that poor Mark, who had underdeveloped lungs as a child, passed out.
When he came to, the mysterious vixen was hovering over him in a way that reminded him of his mother.
"Hello, Mark," she said. "I made you some warm milk."
Mark took the tea, and was just about to sip from it when he stopped. "Who are you, you mysterious woman?" he demanded, his blue eyes ablaze.
"I told you," she replied, "Neither my name nor my story is important. What I need from you is a book."
"Book? What kind of book would make someone act like a madman – er, woman?"
"I am told that it is in your possession, Marcus Wander Cohen."
Mark gasped. "How is it that you know my name? Are you spying on me?"
"No," now the woman looked a little annoyed. Her eyes were squinting and her mouth was turned down as she said, "This book is something that is very important to my client. It is one she said you stole from her, a while back. In your wild days."
Mark smiled. He remembered those days. He used to ride a mountain bike all over town, the wind whipping his hair back to reveal a strong yet sensitive face. People all over his small town of Scarsdale, New Jersey felt fear whenever the name Mark Cohen was uttered. Well, actually, the only people who felt fear were young kids, and that was only when he growled at him, but –
"Hello? Are you still with me?"
"Yeah, sorry," Mark replied, realizing how the woman had changed personalities very quickly. "What book do you want?"
"It's red," she started, "And has a magnetic cover with the words 'PRIVATE' on the front. It's a diary," she added, when Mark still looked confused.
"A diary? I don't think I own a diary," Mark stammered, his face turning the cutest shade of pink. In fact, Mark owned two diaries: one periwinkle blue, and the other bright yellow. But a red one? He didn't think he owned a red diary.
"Oh!" Mark exclaimed. "I think I know which diary you're looking for! Let me go and get it. Wait," he added, glancing around at the room they were in. "Where are we?"
"Just a place I know downtown. I carried you here. Well, I'm stronger than I look," she said indignantly as Mark looked very surprised. "And you're lighter than you look."
"Hey," Mark said a little angrily, "Just because as starving artists we all can't eat and therefore are perfect size twos doesn't mean I'm a weakling! I just look sickly so that I will be attractive to women who like that sort of lost puppy dog look, that's all."
"I'll get you back to your apartment," MW (Mysterious Woman was what Mark called her), said.
Even though neither had any money, MW and Mark managed to get back to the loft just fine without getting mugged or asked for money by the number of harmonizing homeless that were always around.
At the loft, Mark went searching for the red diary of MW's. No one in the house woke up, thankfully, because they were all very heavy sleepers, or, in the case of Collins, stoned out of his mind.
Finally, with MW standing by his side, Mark found pay dirt. "Eureka!" he exclaimed as he pulled out a red diary, on its cover etched the word 'PRIVATE'. "Here you go," he said, handing it to her.
She took it swiftly, holding it close to her like it was a baby. Or a camera, Mark thought to himself.
"Thank you Mark," she said. "Is there anything I can do to repay you?"
"Well," he said back, "You can tell me your name."
She walked over with him to the door. "They call me, they call me, Nanette! Himmelfarb," she added, before giving a very very surprised Mark a kiss on the lips.
"By the way," Nanette said with a smile growing on her cherry lips. "Thanks for the tango."