The Von Bucati Mansion
By Dan Watt
Author of the e-books Ruby Queen and Sylvia on Kobo.com; and e-books Lucy and the Snivel Chair and Learning the Garden of the Body on Amazon.com
A friend suggested I read Christopher Moore’s books because I mentioned I was writing a Horror Comedy. The Von Bucati Mansion is a subtler kind of horror humor. But if you want a ride of a story check out Moore’s “You Suck: A Love Story”.
Cont. (May 30, 2017)
I lean back on my chair, put my feet on my desk and read through Mrs. Von Bucati’s will. The Bucati mansion is on twenty acres of land that connects to Silver Lake on the east side. The mansion is described as a cathedral style, 15,000 square foot/929 square meters home, with a tower on each side. A 10,000 square foot/1858 square meter garage on the property has a 1935 Dodge pick-up truck, 1980 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, a 1970 Moto Guzzi Ambassador motorcycle with sidecar, and the 1957 Jaguar XKSS Roadster.
The rest I glance at. 1800’s Gothic Stainless steel silverware, five complete sets; Battle of the Savoy Monarchy dinnerware, complete set; 222 Fifth China Halloween Wiccan Lace dinnerware, three sets. She had a list of jewelry written down that was baffling. Diamond studded this, ruby that, on and on. There were pages of ritzy clothes, shoes, coats, jackets, and even slippers. One item that was bizarre, she was giving Sar Harrop a sarcophagus. The only items that interested me were the vehicles.
Sar Harrop was listed as Executor, so I would need to meet him. At the end of the list I saw the two signatures. W. “B.” Ruttan and J. Mohawk. As her lawyer I needed to know that both were adults. That could wait. My Maserati Ingegno watch said it was lunch time.
My office is part of an office building on Adelaide Street that I share with three other lawyers. Bert Asworth’s office is beside mine. Looks just like mine, a large window with our name and credentials painted in large yellow italics. Bert is a Corporate Lawyer, and makes a great deal more than I do. Adjacent to our offices and facing the parking lot are the offices of Robert Niggs, a Personal Injury lawyer, and Janet Marks, a Criminal Lawyer. I flirt with Janet since her divorce because I know it makes her feel good. Every time she says, “Not interested,” and holds her hand up to me, I know she really likes it. Bob is much shorter than I am and a fitness fanatic. He constantly talks about my posture and the bump on my stomach but the truth is he’s just jealous of my superior physique.
What clients don’t know is the back door to our offices lead to a common bathroom and kitchenette. As I go through I can smell spare ribs and potatoes basted with a garlic sauce. That’s Bert’s staple. I see him sitting at the rectangular table, humming as he eats with his fingers. Bert is almost as thick as he is tall. Short, stubby arms and legs cropped with short, wispy blond hair. Bob started harassing Bert about his eating habits one day and Bert chewed him out.
“Guess what I got today,” I say, sitting down, eyeing his food.
“Go ahead,” he says through a mouthful of potatoes.
I get up, go into the stainless steel fridge, and take out a large Tupperware container half full of ribs and potatoes. As I microwave a plate full of the leftovers, I see Bert is almost done.
“Guess what I got,” I say again.
“A client,” he replies wiping the sauce from his face with a laced napkin. His short body comes with a deep, powerful voice that you want to talk to.
“An insane client with an insane amount of money.”
“Why is she crazy?” He’s looking at his cell phone now.
“Can’t give a name but she thinks she’s over a hundred and thirty.”
“How do you know she isn’t?”
I sigh. “I’m going to trust you. Her name is Elizabeth Von Bucati.” He says her name into his phone.
“Wow, I would love to meet her.” He pushes some buttons. “The Bucati family owns Iterum Vivere, an international company that owns numerous hotels and mansions for rent around the world.”
“What does Iterum Vivere own?”
He says the name into his phone. “To live again. See if you can get me to accidentally meet up with her.”
I finish his leftovers. “What do I get, if I do?”
“Other than ribs? I’ll buy you a vintage model Ferrari.”
I search on my own phone and find the most expensive die-cast Ferrari I still don’t have. “Deal. I want the 250 GTO Technopromo. It has to be die-cast and 1:18 scale.”
He says the car’s name into his phone. “She better be rich,” he grumbles. “You get me a meeting and the car is yours.”