11,041 vagabonds plus:
plot installment plan
Saw Payment Plan Available on a white, rickety, square sign posted in tall grass near the entrance of a small fenced-in cemetery....maybe we should take it with us after all.....
'You're late, Mr. Mallowman'! the old woman scolded behind the crack of a front door at the cemetery shack. She resembled an angry school marm, silver hair up in a bun as attractive as a tumor, two deep-set charming black magpie eyes.
'My apologies, dear lady, it couldn't be helped', Mallowman apologized, his back hunched awkward in an exaggerated disheveled posture.
'This makes the second month in a row', she growled. She slammed the door and the vibration knocked two of his teeth out.
'May I explain, Mrs. Somerset', he pleaded through the door. He went to the black curtained window and tapped, losing a finger bone, and cursed softly. The old woman's cat leaped onto the ledge, tightened up, its startled, furious yellow eyes meeting Mallowman's, and hissed. 'Mrs. Somerset? Ma'am'?
'Ma'am? Please'? he begged at the window. 'I'll be happy to give you six months in advance, Mrs. Somerset', he continued. 'Dear lady'?
All was silent for a moment, the shack in the shade of a lone, sprawling, sorrowful willow along the curved path settled in the rear of the property next to an abandoned water-wheeled mill. Alas, the door whooshed wide open on cobweb hinges.
'That's different', she smiled. The kind of a smile that would cajole two small lost children into a boiling pot. 'Won't you come in, Mr. Maurice Mallowman, 1913 to 2007'? He wasn't impressed she remembered his vitals. Only when money's involved, he thought.
'You see, dear lady', he began, as she pointed him to the wooden high back chair at an ancient roll top desk, 'you see, madam, they used the heavy roller after cutting the grass this time, and it made it oh so hard to push open the lid. And besides, as you no doubt are aware, I am still dead', he chuckled sheepishly.
He whipped out a hefty unorganized roll of cash from the inside pocket of his tattered sleeveless black sport coat, losing onto the floor three fingers, quickly replacing only two as the cat swiped one and scurried away.
'Ah, well', he shrugged, his left arm falling off.
'Whataya going to do', she sighed, as she'd seen this dozens of times from clients in different stages of deterioration. 'May I be of assistance'? her tone softening at the sight a roll of brand new fifty dollar bills.
'If you'd be so kind to just hold it in place', he instructed as he rose and stood near the wall. He jammed the arm with force back into his shoulder socket, pushing his right eye socket to the middle of his face. The landlord winced, but Thompson assured her it was far less painful than being hit by that train in a stalled car just five short years ago.
'Won't you stay a bit for tea? It's freshly made from the pond out back'.
'I don't think it matters'.
'No', she replied, hand to embarrassed cheek. 'No I suppose not'. She'd easily forgotten he had ceased to Be.
Leaving, he looked back once more at the silent contented cat pawing his discarded finger. Stepping out onto the lawn he saw four more tenants materialize slowly, heading for the shack.
Summer Night (1913)
All original designs and text created by the author of this blog, Phil L., are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike3.0 License. All other materials remain the property of their respective owners and/or creators, unless of course they are part of the public domain.