Monday, September 3, 2012

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 Mallowman 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)
--Albert Bloch

8 Comments:

Blogger Brian Miller said...

ha the dead sure are a lively bunch, and not much different...arriving by the drove....

9/03/2012 12:56 PM  
Blogger Ritva said...

LOL I could hear "Ballroom Blitz" playing on the background!

9/03/2012 4:54 PM  
Blogger Wayne Pitchko said...

nicely done....thanks for sharing your words

9/03/2012 5:30 PM  
Blogger Helen said...

This is so 'out there' .. I hung onto each and every word and element of punctuation!

9/04/2012 12:04 PM  
Blogger Karen S. said...

Mr. Mallowman should take his story to the theater. I liked this somewhat eerie twist, of your wild imagination, possibly right on target! Oh no, that would be scary! Great story indeed!

9/04/2012 5:35 PM  
Blogger Tess Kincaid said...

Attractive as a tumor? !

9/04/2012 7:05 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

I was laughing at his parts falling off, Phil. This is so theatrically cool. Your conception is brilliant. Thanks so much for sharing. =D

9/04/2012 8:15 PM  
Blogger ~T~ said...

What would she do, evict him? Ah, there's no rest for the weary in this place.
What fun!

9/05/2012 12:53 PM  

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