PG-13 'The Estate Sale'

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PG-13 'The Estate Sale'

Postby Lucy » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:52 pm

PG-13
I don't own any of the characters from Moonlight


The Estate Sale

The first thing was the obituary. It coldly stated there were relatives pre-deceasing the man and then the barren reality there were no living relatives in Los Angeles. Mick debated. If I go, what’s the chance someone would remember me? Who would or could recognize me? I could ask Beth to go, no, I can’t do that.
Mick fumbled with the newspaper, since he’d been at the Fordham’s house he’d kept a finger on the pulse of the neighborhood. Yes, he’d seen the 1989 Saab 9000 Turbo in front of his parent’s home. He’d done the research, his undead heart beating heavy in his chest while he used the login Ryder gave him to check license plates. John David St John was the owner. Once he pulled that thread, he dug deeper, pulling the owner of the home, again it was his baby brother.

His baby brother was what his parents called a ‘surprise’. He and his father sat on the front porch while he tuned his guitar. His father had been churlish the past few weeks and at his mom’s request Mick recently spent more hours corralling his younger siblings, Joan, 15, Freddie 13, Tom 11 and Margie 9. They were a pain in his seventeen year old ass.

“When the time comes, I’m taking Momma to the hospital, seems the doctor won’t come to the house to deliver this one. I’ll need you to keep the others on track. You know, get them up, get them fed, get them to school…” His father’s voice droned on as Mick tuned each string of his guitar. Mick was 17 and he wished to God his father would tap Joan for the domestic tasks.

Once he heard his parents up at midnight, Mick understood the role he had to assume. The following day his father returned to the West Adams home looking worse for the wear. “Johnnie is there with your mother, he was a screamer. I’ll bring the both of them home in a day or two. What’s for breakfast, Mickey?”

Vampire Mick’s mind reeled at the memory. Johnnie was the last of the children, the sensitive one, the boy who dawdled with Margie and hung back from the kids on the sidewalk. Did it surprise Mick that Johnnie’s choices included cooking with Mum and getting the living room draperies sewn when Mum couldn’t manage the weight of the fabric. Johnnie was the ‘tempermental’ one of the family.

Ripped away from the home in West Adams by war, Mick left the bustling house only to return to his shared bedroom and then to Lilah’s front porch. That was another story for another time. Had the interest in the kidnapping at the Fordham home woken up his curiosity about his bachelor brother? Sort of, perhaps. Mick read the paper after he was turned. It was his only link to his mortal life. The family’s social events had been his mortal lifeline. He followed each graduation, engagement and marriage to the point he cut out the newspaper photos and did what people did then, glue them in a scrapbook.

Johnnie was dead, his rather lavender life outlined with the obituary’s listing of his affiliation with various costume departments of the major studios, his dramatic dress collaborations with silver screen designers. And when Mick read the final request in John David St John’s obit he nodded at the request for donations to the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

The estate sale would be discretely held on a Tuesday. Monday Mick fortified himself with an extra glass of O positive before he tucked his handkerchief in his duster pocket. Do I walk in? Do I have the guts to look at what’s left behind? Mick left the comfort of his vintage Mercedes and crossed the tree lined street.
“Welcome to the pre-auction showing. I’m the agent handling this auction, here’s a list of the contents with beginning price points. Are you a collector…” The middle aged woman held a stack of stapled color photocopies in one arm as he made his way up the steps. Mick shook his head at the question and accepted the multiple pages of ‘notables’ included in the auction.

Time smacked him in his face. The scents were there, the colors were muted by pipe smoke, it was home with several layers of age. He felt a spark when his hand touched the banister and he ascended the wide staircase. Lighter rectangles of wallpaper announced where family photos previously hung. The landing was silent for the first time in his life. This was where they collided getting ready for school or Mass on Sundays. Six kids spread across seventeen years.

Crocheted doilies, patchwork quilts and clean white towels, the memories threatened to beat away the last fifty six years of Mick’s undead life. Three bedrooms were staged like those of a doll house waiting for a child to move a doll from room to room to room. First he viewed his parent’s small bedroom with the chenille bedspread on their double bed, then the girl’s room done with twin beds in white eyelet lace. Johnnie claimed the largest bedroom, working at long tables holding sewing machines and sergers, two dress forms held his last two creations.

Once around the upstairs, he returned to his bedroom, the one he shared with Freddie, Tom and when he moved out of his crib, Johnnie. Inside the closet he knelt at the floor molding and lifted the cherry stained wood. Inside was a small cloth bag, his long fingers pulled it out and he pocketed it. Even with his keen hearing, there were no sounds but the wind in the trees and a lawn mower in the distance. Carefully playing the investor, Mick descended the stair case and felt the agent’s scrutiny.

The cheery agent declared. “The auction gavel goes down at nine tomorrow morning, were there items you wished to bid for?”

Mick ran his thumb over his lips as he turned toward the kitchen. “Is there a total for the property and the furnishings?” That brought the agent to follow him within an arm’s length as he grinned at the retro kitchen. Mick hooked his thumbs into his pockets and took in the polished kitchen rehab, Johnnie had outfitted with high end appliances with a sixties flare. The kitchen was a showcase in turquoise. I guess the old guy loved the 60’s era, but wanted today’s conveniences. Mick made his way through the screen door to the back porch, he saw the metal box where the Milk Man delivered glass quarts of milk, all of it still there.

Mick silently returned to the parlor and stared at the sepia family portrait over the wide mantel. His broad chested father sat next to his mother. Mom held Johnnie in his baptismal gown, the one each of them had worn. There I am in my graduation suit right behind my dad. Mick sat down on the sofa, in the very same place he used to listen to the radio after dinner. “What’s the reserve on the total auction?”

The agent puckered like a goldfish. “The total, sir?”

“Right? Did the deceased have a target figure?”

“There are a few adult survivors, they have already taken their shares.”

But no one wanted the portrait? A part of Mick broke. “Seriously, what is their price point?”

“The deceased expressed all proceeds go to the charitable organization on the form I’ve given you.” As if she couldn’t mention the charity for fear it might offend. The agent suddenly dithered at the mention of single offer. She slid the scribbled number across the Chippendale coffee table.

Mick looked at the figure and nodded. “I can arrange a bank draft for that amount.” He rose and stepped to the front window. Drawing back the lace curtain he saw the ‘for sale’ sign in the Fordham’s front yard. Yeah, he knew they were leaving for the security of the Midwest, they had adopted a baby girl and they wanted suburban peace and quiet for their two children.

“Certainly, sir…” The agent rushed out of the room and headed to the kitchen. Mick heard the entire conversation. A smile curved his lips as he eavesdropped. Standing there in the parlor for the first time in over five decades he felt ‘home’, he felt almost human.

Once he was in the car he reached for the stolen muslin bag. Dice, a tortoise shell pocketknife and a cat's eye marble. Things he hid before he left the home before taking a room near the clubs his band performed.

****

“What’s the blindfold for?” Beth giggled as he tied a dark scarf over her eyes before she got into his car. My Beth, when have I ever felt this whole?

“It wouldn’t be a secret if you could see it.” Mick kissed he forehead, then her nose and her precious pink lips. Carefully he helped her into the front seat and locked her seat belt.

“Surprises, I adore good surprises.”

“From now on, those are the only surprises for us.” Mick picked Beth’s hand off her lap and kissed her fingertips.

“Are we going into the hills to neck at the Hollywood sign? I’ve always wanted to do that.”

Mick ran his tongue over his lips at the thought. “Nope.”

“Josef gave you the keys to his hillside house? I’ve wanted to swim up there forever.”

Mick’s chuckle came deep within his chest. “Nope.”

“You’re driving us to the airport to use Josef’s jet?”

“Where would we go, even if we did borrow his jet?”

“Vegas? We could… elope?”

She was getting too close and Mick’s foot pressed to drive ten miles an hour over the speed limit. There was silence while he read her emotions. When he didn’t answer about eloping he felt her heart sink. Things had been going so well since her front door closed.

****

“It smells so…green.” Beth lifted her head, trying to peer out of the bottom of the scarf.

Mick stopped the car and had her door open in a few seconds. Slow your roll, we’re in a neighborhood with possibly nosy neighbors. “Leave the scarf right where it is.” Mick drew her out of the car. “There’s a small curb, step up, then walk with me.”He whispered directions as they made the steps up to the front of the house. He unlocked the door and caught her wrist. “Walk with me…”

“It smells like lavender and roses. It’s so…” In the parlor the fireplace was burning low. Mick stood Beth in the center of the room and dropped to one knee.

“Are you there, Mick?” Beth’s hands skirted the area reaching for him.

“Oh, I’m here, Beth.” He withdrew the ring box from his duster pocket and worried springing it open would give away his surprise. “Okay, now you can remove your blindfold.”

Beth whipped it off and spun in a circle. Mick wasn’t in her sight-line. She saw the fireplace and the large framed portrait. “Where are we?” Beth completed the spin to see Mick on one knee. “Oh, my, it doesn’t matter where we are, is this what I think it is?”

Mick smirked. “What do you think this is?” He rose from his knee and caught her in his embrace.

“We’re in a house, an old house. You were on your knee.” Beth’s fabulous blush swept down her face and throat. Her heart pounded.

“But I have to ask, what do you think this is?” He reveled in her excitement, but kept his hand behind him, ready for any of her answers.

Beth’s hands were clenched together under her chin. Her bright blue eyes were as large as China blue plates. “You were on your knee and I think I saw a ring box, you were about to propose?”

Before Mick could nod and swing the ring around to her, she let out a squeal that threatened to deafen his undead senses. “Beth Turner, will you be my sidekick, my partner, my wife?” He reached for her left hand and with her tearful nod they stood right there for just a moment.

“You know I will.” She held her shaking hand out and Mick slipped the solitaire on her finger.

“I want to make you the happiest woman in the world.” Mick held her closely and nuzzled at her wealth ofthick blond hair at her neck. His cool lips trailed a series of kisses along her jaw. Beth’s eyes blinked at the ring on her hand.

“You just have, babe, you just have…”

****

The home got a good cleaning. Old bedding was carried out, new bedding and a dual door freezer was delivered. Triple paned windows were installed, the roof was insulated and heavy duty air conditioning units hum in the back yard.

Now when the quiet neighborhood settled in for the night, in the Victorian home with the quiet young couple, the antique milk glass lamps burned golden behind the heavy lace curtains.

Their story has no end...their lives were just beginning.
Last edited by Lucy on Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PG-13 'The Estate Sale'

Postby allegrita » Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:30 pm

What a lovely, nostalgic story! I love the idea of Mick buying the family home, and everything in it. And he got the portrait! :heart: Mick's proposal is really sweet. Now he and Beth can bring new life to the old house.

I bet Beth would go right out and research John's life. And maybe try on the dresses. :batseyes:
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Re: PG-13 'The Estate Sale'

Postby Lucy » Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:13 pm

allegrita wrote:What a lovely, nostalgic story! I love the idea of Mick buying the family home, and everything in it. And he got the portrait! :heart: Mick's proposal is really sweet. Now he and Beth can bring new life to the old house.

I bet Beth would go right out and research John's life. And maybe try on the dresses. :batseyes:


Thank-you...you know how once you push the POST button, you think of something??? Well I went to sleep and thought of John reupholstering the original furniture..... and leaving a wedding gown....but heh, that can be another story.

I appreciate your reading, Allegrita :wave:
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Re: PG-13 'The Estate Sale'

Postby Ella713 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:43 pm

Absolutely beautiful!! Saying goodbye to an old life while welcoming a new one! Bravo!! :clapping:
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Re: PG-13 'The Estate Sale'

Postby Lucy » Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:15 am

Ella713 wrote:Absolutely beautiful!! Saying goodbye to an old life while welcoming a new one! Bravo!! :clapping:


Thank-you for visiting, glad you enjoyed the story! I appreciate your leaving footprints and hearing your kind words.
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Re: PG-13 'The Estate Sale'

Postby Shadow » Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:44 am

So great to see a new Lucy story! I saw this when it came out and loved it, but didn't have time to leave a comment. So I've just had a marvelous re-read on a much quieter night.

So much nostalgia, so many memories in this story. Loved the turns of phrase like "Johnnie's rather lavender life" ... so eloquent. Mick's walk through his old home is so rich, as he looks into and remembers every room and passes that landing that used to have six kids running through it all the time. I like the idea that Mick is the oldest of a big family. He does seem like the big brother type.

It feels right that Mick buys the house and the portrait, and brings Beth to live there.
Lucy wrote: in the Victorian home with the quiet young couple, the antique milk glass lamps burned golden behind the heavy lace curtains.
What a beautiful new beginning for the house and its new owners.
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Re: PG-13 'The Estate Sale'

Postby Lucy » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:01 pm

Shadow wrote:So great to see a new Lucy story! I saw this when it came out and loved it, but didn't have time to leave a comment. So I've just had a marvelous re-read on a much quieter night.

So much nostalgia, so many memories in this story. Loved the turns of phrase like "Johnnie's rather lavender life" ... so eloquent. Mick's walk through his old home is so rich, as he looks into and remembers every room and passes that landing that used to have six kids running through it all the time. I like the idea that Mick is the oldest of a big family. He does seem like the big brother type.

It feels right that Mick buys the house and the portrait, and brings Beth to live there.
Lucy wrote: in the Victorian home with the quiet young couple, the antique milk glass lamps burned golden behind the heavy lace curtains.
What a beautiful new beginning for the house and its new owners.



Thanks with a hug for coming back to share your thoughts. :hug: It came to me in a nostalgic moment -
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