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 on Amazon.com
I can handle watching most operations on TV. The exception is when they show a cataract getting cut off.
Michelle, Yoshima, and Wanda are sitting on stools sipping champagne glasses full of pink champagne. Each of them has two empty shot glasses on the bar top beside them. I can hear them giggling at something the bartender is saying. He has a mop of black curly hair and half hooded dark blue eyes. His face is pinched in like a weasel. What a dirt bag he is!
I put my hands around the upper curve of Michelle and Yoshima’s hips. “What’s so funny?” I slur out.
“I don’t know,” Michelle says as she leans against me for support.
“Me neither,” Yoshima says leaning against me as well.
“Or me,” chirps in Wanda.
I slip my hands farther around Michelle and Yoshima to give them better support.
“Ladies,” a female voice with a peculiar accent says behind me. I can feel Elizabeth Von Bucati’s icy touch freeze through my suit jacket and shirt so that I’m chilled through the spine. “Richard, the very tall man,” she continues, leaving her hand pressed against my back between the shoulder blades. “Did you know he lost both his hands saving a school bus full of children after a transport truck cut through a red light and smashed the bus over a railing into a river?”
“No!” all the girls said in unison. Michelle and Yoshima slip off their stools and away from my touch. Wanda shouts, “Wait!” and follows them over to the freaky giant.
I glance at Richard. He must have seen my scowl because he shuddered before turning his attention back to the girls. They all look so hot I almost forget Elizabeth’s freezing hand is still between my shoulder blades.
“I wonder what flavour of ice cream you like best,” I hear her say behind me. She steps to my side. “So many to choose from,” she continues with a sadness to her voice. “Dark chocolate, mocha, butter pecan, mango, strawberry, vanilla, and all the combinations.” I see her glance at the bartender and he instantly reaches under the bar and takes out a round bottle with semi-transparent red liquid inside. He pours it into a brandy glass. I see the name Brugerolle Cognac Exrtra on the label. He fills the glass until it is a quarter filled.
Elizabeth is silent as she swirled the glass. After she takes a sip, she says, “Ice cream melts Mr. Deleppe but the bowl or sundae glass can last forever. You just need to keep filling it with ice cream.” She takes another sip. “It could be the same ice cream or a different one. Personally, I like to try different flavours over time.”
The girls are really chatting it up with Richard. I can see him showing his hook explaining whatever nonsense to them so he can enchant them.
“In the past if you needed an eye reshaped to see better, surgeons used a scalpel.” Elizabeth is saying to me. I don’t really care but she is my client and paying for today. “Nowadays, if you need an eye re-shaped to fit they use lasers. Sounds much better does it not?”
I look down at her. Her one good eye glares back at me full of malice.
“Of course Elizabeth,” I say with my most understanding voice.
“So you understand?” she asks.
Her dead eye creeps me out and I almost look away. “Yes, perfectly.” I glance at the girls. They are touching Richard’s oversized hand, asking questions.
“Enjoy the rest of the day Mr. Deleppe. Supper will be served shortly.”
“You to Elizabeth,” I say. She wanders off towards the girls and Richard. Richard moves away from the doorway behind him and Elizabeth disappears behind it.
I turn to the bartender. “Do you have a safety pin?”