B. S. Roberts

Modern Dating

I jab my fingers into my temples and rub, hoping to banish the irritation from my skull. With no luck, I look back at the yellowing book which smells of cobweb, musk, and coffee. 

What the fuck is this?

“Femur of Thrice-Great Grandfather.” Nope. Nuh-uh. A book isn’t going to talk at me, no matter how peculiar the required reagents are—nor how sultry its voice. I haven’t done anything to warrant it, yet. Drop the quotation marks, you damned author.

Femur of Thrice-Great Grandfather.

Better. But still, thrice?

I count my fingers. “Father,” one. “Grandfather,” two. “Great,” three. “Great-great,” four. “Thrice-great,” five.

Is thrice-great proper grammar?

Using a ribbon to save my place, I flip to the first page: “Incantations—”


Incantations, Rituals, and Gourmet Recipes by Susannah Martin, 1692.

Nope; I highly doubt it’s correct. I flip back to the femur-demanding recipe.

It’s not like I can just waltz to the family crypt and grab dear-old Great-Great-Great Pappy Ebenezer’s thighbone—most of the family are in unmarked graves or buried in the cellar.


No. This house was built after he died. Shit.

I slam the tome shut, creating a small mushroom cloud of dust that turns my already-faded black suit grayer. What the hell am I going to do now? I’m one femur short of a roast here.

Apparently, a love potion is out of the question. It’s been a while since I’ve strutted my stuff—how in the hell do they do it nowadays? I think phones are involved? I know biting necks is frowned upon. Figured that one out on my last date, a decade ago.

Straightening my ruffled mauve collar, I glance at my pocket-watch. Shit! I’m out of time. Going to have to improvise.

It’s now or nothing; I can do this…

B. S. Roberts

When not indulging himself by reading or writing poetry and prose, B.S.Roberts makes a living as a museum curator and an administrative specialist at the University of Maine at Augusta. He also tends to be working on his degree in ethnography and folklore. B.S.Roberts lives in Maine with his wife, daughter, silver pheasants, turtle, and four cats. www.bsroberts.com