“So what’s your story, morning glory?” he asked her, staring into her big brown eyes. They were like two magnets pulling him in. Of all the juke joints in town, he had to walk into this one, where he would see this exotic gold-skinned beauty in a dress that could cure cancer. It was a red dress, one that had seen its share of blood and lives fucked up beyond redemption. If dresses could talk, this one could write an encyclopedia of misery.

He hadn’t given any of this the slightest thought. He just wanted to wet his whistle (and something else) that night.  Finding beauty of this sort in a place like this had to be a fluke or dumb luck. Maybe she’s married or just feeling lonely tonight and just needs to get laid, he thought. Why else would she be here? This is one classy woman!

Joseph couldn’t break eye contact with the woman. She had him under her spell, whatever sort of voodoo it was. She never uttered a word, just looked into his eyes and then down and away, occasionally with a hint of sorrow for decoration. This only added to her mystique and beauty. Joseph wanted her more each time her gaze shifted away and what will a wolf always do with an injured deer?

“Hey, it’s alright. I don’t bite, dear,” he claimed, taking her hand.

With a disturbed expression, the scarlet-covered beauty pulled away, clanked her high heels on the dark wooden floor and bolted towards the door of the sleazy bar. It would seem bars, sin, questionable men and the nightlife in general were all bottom-spanking new to her. Do you think this deterred our dashing hero with the impressive stubble? Yes, it did.

However, the gods of love would smile down on him in that moment as she forgot her black handbag in front of Joseph. The former Boy Scout in him was all about helping damsels in distress, especially if they needed help crossing the street or had forgotten their purse in some shady back corner bar.  Joseph put out his cigarette and chased after her.

“Hey, sweetheart, you forgot your purse!” he called out to her as the door closed behind her. Laughing echoed throughout the bar at the sight of this man with the black purse running. In his pursuit of this enigma, Joseph focused on her ruby red dress flowing on the other side of the glass as she turned to walk down the street. He could see her pacing ahead, trying to make her getaway into the night. He thought he could catch up to her. He would tell her that he wasn't there to hurt her, just returning her purse, like a nice Boy Scout.  It all seemed so clichéd to him.

As he pushed open the door and hurried through, the woman in the beautiful red dress was nowhere to be found. Puzzled and maybe a little spooked, Joseph looked all around, in every direction. It was as if she was never there. When he looked back at the bar, he got another shock. All the lights were off, no music blaring and an ancient ‘For Sale’ sign was taped to the inside of the glass window. The ‘Cool Arrows’ bar sign was no longer lit up in bright neon. There wasn’t even a sign anymore. He rushed over and peered inside the darkness of an empty room.

He looked down and was still holding the black handbag and his good intentions.

“What the fuck?” he questioned himself. Not a soul could be seen on the street, not a car along the sidewalk. He was all alone. He reached into his pants pocket for his cell phone to check the time and day. It was dead. Now he was officially scared. He began to walk down the street just wanting to get out of there, purse still in hand. Just then, Joseph could hear faint music down the alley to his left next to the bar. Unsure of just what the fuck was happening, his curiosity got the best of his capacities. He began to seek out the source. As he came in closer proximity, he heard a familiar eighties song.

Lady in red,
Is dancing with me,
Cheek to cheek.
There’s nobody here,
It’s just you and me,
It’s where I want to be.

“Okay, time to get the fuck out of here!” Joseph said as he turned around and dropped the black purse as his eyes widened at the horrifying sight in front of him. The beauty in the scarlet dress was standing before him, face altered. Now, a black goat's head stared back at him. All he could do was scream.

“What do you think his problem was?” asked the scruffy old man sitting next to his buddy at the bar.

“Ahh, who the fuck knows. Hey, uh, Clarence I’ll have another whiskey! Bring down that top shelf stuff, we’re burnin’ the midnight oil here,” said the old man to the barkeep.

“Hey, Clarence, did you get a load of that broad in the red dress?” asked the first wino.

“Yeah, if only that dress could talk,” said the barkeep.

“I do believe it did.” The pals burst into laughter.

From outside Cool Arrows, the view was empty. No signs of life, just the lack of lighting, music and merry-making of any sort. The ancient For Sale sign in the glass door, the dark empty room and the reflection of the woman in the red dress walking by.

If you are ever downtown in San Antonio, Texas after midnight and you see a beautiful woman in a killer red dress, leave her alone. She appears as a goat to those who are too persistent for her attention and she will devour you. This is a real urban legend in San Antonio. She is known as The Lady in Red.

Written by Blacknumber1
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