By Tim Tobin
Rich Morse wore red bell bottom pants. He liked the pants even though they were no longer a fashion statement. Actually, when he wore them, he heard about it.
His long-time golf partner, Buzz Casey, teased him about a tee time. Mr. Robert McGraff, his boss, questioned their appropriateness for the workplace. And when he went to the mall, the young women gave him fake wolf-whistles.
Yet, Rich Morse wore his red bell bottoms. He had started wearing them in the 1970s when bell bottoms were fashionable and he still wore them now that they were making somewhat of a comeback.
But Rich was finding red pants harder and harder to find. He was excited the day he spotted a pair at a thrift store as he rummaged through the racks. They still had the manufacturer’s tags. And they were exactly his size, waist and length. Rich was thrilled.
Rich laid the red bell bottoms on the counter to pay and was astonished to see them strutting towards the door all by themselves. Before anyone else saw them he scooped them up and stuffed them into his bag. He decided he was so excited about finding them that he had imagined them walking by themselves.
That afternoon Rich and Buzz Casey were playing 18 holes so Rich wore his brand new red bell bottoms. Buzz chuckled patiently at his friend as they teed off. By the ninth hole, the bell bottoms had grown tight on Rich. Then on the green at the last hole, the pants gripped Rich’s testicles and would not let go.
Rich howled in pain and Buzz struggled to pull off the red bell bottoms. Finally the pants relaxed their grip on Rich and he slid them off. Buzz wrapped his sweater around Rich as they slunk off the golf course. Both men looked in the back of their golf cart when they heard what sounded like a giggle.
That night Rich hung the pants on a hook in his closet and closed the door. Shortly after midnight he awoke to find the red bell bottoms dancing with an amorphous figure on the bedroom floor. Rich was certain he was dreaming but spoke to the pants anyway.
“What are you doing?” he asked.
At the sound of Rich’s voice, the pants laughed and flew back into the closet and the figure shimmered in the moonlight and dissolved into nothingness. Rich was now wide awake and screamed.
Rich tried wearing the pants one more time. And he wore a cup just in case. So this time the pants became stiff as a board and Rich became stuck in place on a busy sidewalk.
So Rich threw away his prized red bell bottoms pants. He was not too surprised when they sauntered down the street with a whistle.
The next day Rich wore khakis with a plain front and cuffs to work.
BIO: Mr. Tobin holds a degree in mathematics from LaSalle University. He retired five years ago from L-3 Communications after more than forty years as a project manager and software engineer. His speculative stories appear in Separate Worlds Magazine, The Moustache Factor and Micro Horror. His western stories and poetry appear on the Rope and Wire web site.