When Celia first saw him, he was sitting on a park bench reading a newspaper by the light of a small lamp attached to the peak of his flat tweed cap.
He was bulkier than was her preference, but she thought, as one ages, standards are lowered, just a little, and she moved forward, and adjusted her long black cape.
The hair peeking from under the cap was grey and curly, she noted with satisfaction, medical opinion to the contrary, she was convinced hair and virility were connected, and virile men were so much more delicious.
She decided to use the lost bird approach.
“Sorry to disturb you sir, but have you seen a budgie? I’m sure she flew this way.”
The man came out from behind his paper slowly.
“A budgie? What colour was it?”
“It was blue,” she said, and threw herself down on the bench with a small moan, thinking perhaps ‘distraught and exhausted’ might bring out the best in him.
“Blue eh,” he said and smiled down at her from some height, even though they were both seated.
“No I haven’t seen a blue budgie, but I did see a green one. I wondered if anyone would be along looking for her.”
Celia was a little taken aback, but recovered quickly.
“It could look green in this light, I suppose” and she smiled and crossed her legs as if settling in for a chat.
“Which way did the bird go?”
The man pointed into the dense trees by the side of the path.
“That way,” he said, and revealed a large gold tooth at the front of his mouth as he smiled, and he looked hungrily at the silken thigh revealed when Celia had crossed her long legs.
“Would you like me to help you look?”
“Yes I would,” Celia said, smiling up at him and showing her lovely pointed canines.
“Why don’t we search together, and then perhaps later I could have you for supper.”