GTO 3987 on Mulholland

GTO 3987 on Mulholland

Monday, August 26, 2013

In Transit (Excerpt from a novel in progress by Stephen Mitchell)

“I am your newest Best Friend Forever should anyone ask. A brother-from-another-mother or however you like to put it.” Reggie, if that really was his name, looked at Jonathon pointedly and sipped his Scotch.

“Will you be paying rent and supplying your own Scotch as you live in my house?” Jonathon asked as though his interest was no more than idle curiosity.

Reggie offered a benign smile as if filling an awkward silence for a friend.

“Do you intend to place restrictions on my comings and goings?”

“Lord, no! We want you out and about. Whatever your normal shenanigans might be, pray continue them. A few we know of already. The others we can guess at. In any event, let’s give the world an opportunity to rub shoulders with you. Not likely that it will be her, but one never knows, does one? More likely, it will be a friend or enemy. Either could be productive.”

“How long shall I be required to endure this occupation of my life?”

“How blue is the sky?” asked Reggie as he poured more Scotch into his glass. “Do this properly and you might get a K. They’ll say it’s for saving stray dogs, healing the motorways or some such. I might get one, too, since I didn’t get that pony for Christmas. It’s preferable to doing a three-year bit or a jolt, come to that.”

Jonathon had stopped listening and was trying to remember something she had said. It was an aside, spoken almost to herself, but often those utterances are the most telling. His memory could not get hold of it but he would continue to search it out because it was there. It was surely there.

* * *

“Ich werde das Haus vermieten, aber Sie müssen den Preis von Tausenden von Euro zu reduzieren und bieten Zimmerservice.”

She had no thought that she was passing as anything other than a woman who had been married to a well-off German and had learned enough of the language to take her husband to the cleaners after the requisite amount of time had been spent in the marriage. She took on the attitude of one who ordered others about without a thought for their feelings. Speaking German made this easy. The leasing agent gave her a pained expression but said nothing.

“Then we have an understanding. I shall want the house Friday morning. Please see to all the arrangements and I’ll stop in to collect the keys.”

More to follow...

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