00360605

“Why the tire beside the front porch?”

“It reminds me of a past time in another location. Full of junk like that. I had to sit on a tire based concoction to do my business, for example.”

“Good good,” I assuaged. Seems like this is going in the right direction for a sale. Now to the price. “50 lindens,” I said.

“A month?” Herbert Gold shot back.

“Well, no. A week. It’s a fabulous view…”

“… that could be blocked by a neighbor’s structure any day now, any hour.”

Gold had a point. “A month, then,” I said. What was money in this town, straight or curvy? Didn’t matter. “Just don’t tell the other renters I gave you such a deal.”

He made a zipping motion over his lips, indicating he understood. Mum’s the word.

“And April Mae Flowers too — whenever she shows up.”

“I’ll tell her,” he said. “But she likes to go by Lovey now. Ever since the theft of our identities back in (photo-novel) 34. To help differentiate *us* Golds from *them* Golds. Gold City Golds,” he clarified. “Like in Gilligham’s Island,” he said about her new name. “And me…”

“Yes, Thurston. Backus,” I refined, taking it to another level and indicating the actor who played the super rich Thurston Howler the Third beyond the character. Descended from monkeys they were, as we all are. Their fictional surnames just indicate a closer connection than most.

“And,” said Gold. “She *is* lovely. That’s not just a name borrowed from some hack 60s sitcom.”

Back in the day maybe, I think here. “Of course,” I said aloud.

“We want to clear our names, make ourselves good, even model citizens in the eyes of others here. Who have we got so far?”

“Five,” I said, indicating a number instead of names. Because it was really only 3, and I was counting the Howlers as chickens before they hatched. Because he hadn’t given a definitive “yes” yet.

“Counting us?” Ahh, prescient a bit, I think here, pondering whether this was a good character trait or bad character trait. How far goes the mind reading? I decided to think of a number; see if he could guess.”

“Are you thinking seven, then?”

He immediately went further back in darkness with this, fear taking over. He could be returning as some sort of saint but he definitely had been a sinner. True to his name, though, he was certainly valuable, gold if not platinum. Because we wanted to stay away from platinum this time. That was the direction of The End.

I extended my hand for a shake. He put a chocolate chip one in it, prepared and hiding in a back pocket for just this moment. I remained confused if this sealed the deal or not until I drank it later back at the Blue Feather and found a fifty dollar bill at the bottom of the cup. 1st month’s rent. The Golds are bona fide Somocons.

(to be continued)

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