Last time in Lake Nipples…
“Esme, are you coming? I need someone to hold my grandfather down.”
Esmerelda grabbed a stack of beach towels, closed the linen closet door and followed her best friend down to the kitchen, ready to restrain the old man. Even though this wasn’t her first time at the rodeo, something about it felt different. Something felt… sexy.
And now… back to our story!
On an unseasonably warm February afternoon, Lily Tashman married Thomas S. Muffins, just as she was supposed to. He gave her his great-grandmother’s ring, they exchanged vows, and kissed like cold, dead fish in front of their families, friends, and the crème de la crème of Lake Nipples society. Everybody cheered. Lily smiled.
Esmerelda carried out her maid of honor duties in a daze. How could she possibly concentrate on all the wedding day to-dos when so much had changed in the past 24 hours? When she’d landed at Lake Nipples International Airport, she never anticipated her best friend confessing she didn’t love her fianceé, or having to pin an old man to the floor while he was getting his abdomen stitched up, or all the hot, greasy ham sex she’d had with Randall. But all of those things happened, and she was not emotionally equipped to handle any of it.
Besides her therapist — who was currently vacationing in Schmeckle Springs and would not take any emergency phone calls no matter how many times Esmerelda called her hotel — Lily was the only person Esmerelda was able to open up to. It didn’t matter if she was a fucking disaster of a human being who gave terrible advice — she was her fucking disaster, and had held her up through everything, even before the Hammening. They’d been friends since preschool, and she’d never known a life without her. She didn’t dare imagine one.
The world looked much different for Lily and Esmerelda when they first met, and not just because they were shorter. They both lived in South Central Lake Nipples; a working-class enclave where people lived on the stressful side of comfortable. Lily’s father had just begun his colorectal residency at Memorial Hospital, and because her bitch mother refused to get a job, they lived in a modest walk-up apartment around the corner from the Poppingcorn’s drafty, dilapidated old Victorian.
When Esmerelda’s great-great-great-great grandfather built the house, Lake Nipples was still a bear-infested no-man’s land, where aspiring robber barons went to follow their dreams. Orville Poppingcorn arrived on a boat from Great Britain in 1869 with dreams of making it big in the newspaper industry, while his best friend and shipmate, MacIver Muffins, had aspirations of the medical persuasion. In less than a decade, both of their family names were synonymous with success: Poppingcorn the self-made media titan behind the Lake Nipples Bugle, and Muffins the founder/chief alienist of MacIver’s Sanitarium for Unwed Mothers and the Criminally Insane.
Dive headfirst into the titillating waters of Lake Nipples. What’s the worst that could happen?
The Muffins name still meant something in Lake Nipples — it meant power, it meant intrigue, it meant money up the wazoo. The Poppingcorn name, however, had long ago become a laughing stock for reasons no one could accurately remember. By the time Esmerelda’s grandmother Oprah was born, the family had already lost control of the Bugle, and had most of their properties seized by the local government for “highly classified” reasons. What little remained of their fortune was quickly depleted, and nearly every trace of their former greatness swiftly faded away. Only the stately old Victorian remained, growing slightly further into disrepair with every passing year — its vibrant colors fading into weathered wood, it’s shingles shedding like snakeskin, it’s majestic toadstool topiaries growing wild and unkempt.
Every generation of Poppingcorn lived under that roof, and every generation had done a bit worse than the last. Oprah could have shed her sullied surname when she married, but as the last of the Poppingcorn line, she felt an obligation to keep it alive so that one day it could be redeemed; a tradition her daughter continued, and now fell on Esmerelda’s waifish shoulders.
But despite her big dreams and ferocious intelligence, Oprah fell far short of her ambitions, because she was a woman. After being fired from several well-paying jobs for being “too aggressive,” she resigned herself to becoming a cigarette girl at the Flamingo Breeze Yacht Club, working for tips until the day her body was found covered in honey and partially eaten by bears.
When Esmerelda was a little girl, her mother had been a rising star in the LNPD; a hotshot homicide detective many thought was on the fast track to commissioner. That was before she and her partner were the first unit to respond to a call about a bunch of blood-soaked bears peeing on lawns in the toniest zip code in town: Awoogah Hills, 80085. The day after what was left of Oprah Poppingcorn was put into the ground, Detective Delores Poppingcorn turned in her badge and gun, and spent the next 25 years trying— and failing— to find the truth about what happened to her mother, all the while ignoring the daughter who, on the day of her beloved grandmother’s death, had been spiritually broken by cold cuts.
Esmerelda’s father Burt stepped up to support the both of them as best he could as a foreman at the local Beanie Baby factory (which is what Uranus Industries produced before pivoting to NFTs), but between Esmerelda’s Catholic school tuition and Delores’ costly pursuit of justice, the Poppingcorns barely had enough money to keep their ancestral home from collapsing on top of them.
Meanwhile, as the Poppingcorns’ lives were spiraling down the toilet, the Tashmans’ were blasting off from the bidet of destiny. Lily’s father had become the most famous colorectal surgeon in the greater Lake Nipples area, and even though her bitch mother still refused to do a goddamn thing, they were able to move crosstown into a stately colonial revival in the “new money” section of Awoogah Hills. Lily hated every bit of it, and would run back to the wrong side of the tracks whenever her narcissist parents weren’t paying attention. The Poppingcorn Victorian became her second home, and Delores and Burt her second parents.
Lily looked for Ma and Pa Poppingcorn as she walked down the aisle of St. Longinus, but couldn’t find them anywhere in the standing room-only cathedral. When she and Tom entered the grand ballroom of the Flamingo Breeze Yacht Club as husband and wife, she expected to see them sitting next to her biological parents at the table of honor. When she spotted their empty chairs, the fake smile she’d held onto all day disappeared from her face.
As new-money Lily was marrying into the old-money Lake Nipples aristocracy, she didn’t have much say over any aspect of her wedding, much less who was invited. Almost immediately after she and Tom were introduced as husband and wife, she was whisked away to be formally introduced to all the faces she knew nothing about, while Esmerelda — a pathetic, lowly Poppingcorn — was once again left behind.
Esmerelda had expected to cling to Lily’s side during the reception, since the thought of having to talk to any of the pompous douchebags in that ballroom made her want to slam her fist through a wall. Without the company of her parents or best friend, Esmerelda was trapped alone in a world that didn’t want her, surrounded by politicians, socialites, executives, influencers, dozens of dirty, filthy Tashman bitches, and multiple captains of industry.
The old Esmerelda would have hidden in a dark corner and done her best to disappear, but that timid little girl had died the day before on a bed of erotic potato salad. The woman at the Muffins wedding was full of fire and lightning — a feeling that was unfamiliar, but all-consuming. She glided through the reception with her head held high, intent on winning the respect of every uppity twat in the ballroom. After all, Esmerelda was one of the top five OSHA inspectors in the country, and goddamnit, she was going to remind Lake Nipples what the Poppingcorn name was all about.
She listened to a gaggle of Uranus Industries executives talk about how their NFTs were most definitely not a scam, and regaled them with a story about shutting down a chimichanga plant full of poisonous snakes. She charmed the doyennes of the Cybele Club with a colorful anecdote involving the Pope and some contaminated cream corn. She dazzled the mayor with her knowledge of sanitation codes, and left members of the local crime syndicate in hysterics with her impression of Count Chocula. Esmerelda was becoming belle of the ball — brilliant, beautiful, and brimming with confidence. Everything that had haunted her that morning — the cold feet, the kitchen-table surgery, the way Randall moaned as their bodies ground a six-foot-hero into meaty paste — all those ghosts were gone.
And then she saw Franklin Burningham.
Esmerelda didn’t know why she didn’t anticipate that the patriarch of the Burningham family would be at the wedding. Franklin had grown into a power player amongst the Lake Nipples elite, growing his tiny gourmet shop into a national chain, and then into a multi-million dollar importer of specialty foods. He was short, bald, excessively sweaty and nothing like his stud muffin son, but still, the scent of Burningham musk in the air sent Esmerelda’s ovaries into overdrive. Her sausage bank started screaming for a deposit, and not knowing what to do, she decided to run.
Esmerelda fled through the first door she saw, and found herself in a small pastry kitchen full of cake and desserts. She couldn’t go back out into the ballroom, and even if she was willing to risk the embarrassment, she was no longer in control of her body. She crossed her legs and clenched her thighs, desperate to put out the fire between her legs, focusing her mind on her unsexiest of memories, like that thing with the Pope and the corn.
Just as she thought she might have the upper hand against the sexual she-beast roaring inside of her, Esmerelda’s phone began to vibrate in her bridesmaid’s dress (it had pockets!), and she collapsed face first onto a table full of artisan doughnuts. She picked up her phone to stop the buzzing, but it only made things worse for her out-of-control vagina.
Esmerelda’s ladybits had transmorgafied from a placid pussycat to a feral, ferocious feline that needed to be fed. Just as she was sure her giblets would explode the door cracked open, and in snuck a man she’d never seen before. He was dressed in a tuxedo but didn’t look as if he belonged at the wedding — his eyes were too kind, his beard too rugged, his hair too shaggy, with tattoos peeking out from beneath his French cuffs. He was hot as fuck, and more importantly, he was there.
After a split second of eye contact Esmerelda pounced, pinning him against the wall with her cherry red lips and tearing off her slinky evening gown. He followed her cues, unbuckling his belt as fast as he could manage and freeing her voluptuous curves from their prison of Spanx. She grabbed the stranger by his lapels and wrapped her legs around him; he threw her onto the doughnut table and began licking away the sprinkles that had landed on her gargantuan knockers.
“Nice to meet you,” he said between gasps, “I’m—”
“Shh... I don’t want to know your name. I just want you to…
….pop my corn.”
What sort of sugar-fueled shenanigans will Esmerelda get into with this handsome stranger?
If you’re a paid subscriber, you can read every filthy detail in Chapter Seven: Doughnuts & Holes!
As for unpaid subscribers: the dirty is stuff ain’t free, so skip straight to Chapter Eight: Who’s Your Daddy to continue the story. (It will still make sense!) OR you can upgrade your subscription so you can get food porn, and I can get paid for doing God’s work.
There’s pop my corn again. Is this the byline?!
Also. I stopped dead in my tracks at
“working for tips until the day her body was found covered in honey and partially eaten by bears”
And didn’t stop laughing for 5 minutes.
Aha! it seems like the Cookie Monster is about to come into some pleasure