The Von Bucati Mansion By Dan Watt (Horror Comedy)

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

When Steven Spielberg was directing JAWS weather didn’t co-operate, other boats might appear suddenly while filming water scenes, and the mechanical shark didn’t always work.  Sometimes there were only a few seconds of film.  Spielberg was going to hold onto the film until he had more to show the producers but he was told to give the producers film no matter how short so they knew something was going on.  I’m ad libbing a bit here because I can’t find this clip.  The plot of The Von Bucati Mansion is scattered in my head so keep in mind your seeing it as it develops; this is a rough draft.  For writers/authors, script writers you’ll understand that you get the story out then fix it up.  Constructive Criticism is welcome.

 

The Foxglove Law Office, where I work, is on Adelaide Street in Toronto.  My original plan was to finish medical school and become a plastic surgeon but my teacher, Dr. Robert J Spratt was jealous of my good looks and caused me to fail my finals.  It’s hard to be five feet eleven inches, in bare feet, with curly brown hair and no bald spots.  Instead, I followed in my father’s footsteps and went to the Osgoode Law School on Keele Street.  I was sitting back on my leather swivel chair in my office with my feet on my desk dwelling on why my parents didn’t just give me an allowance so I could stay in law school when the doorbell rang.

A short, ancient lady with one calloused eye that looked gross, and another so bright and blue it reminded me of my own, stood at the door.  She wore a baby blue straw hat that hid all her hair except a few strands of grey bangs.  Her pink, flowered blouse and tight fighting khaki slacks clung to her wrinkled skin from the abominable heat outside.  I looked at her feet and saw brown Coach Chelsea flats; expensive shoes that appeared to be brand new.

“May I come in?” she asked in a proper voice with a peculiar accent.

“Yes,” I replied, feeling this could be a good prospect.

She walked to the wooden armchair in front of my desk and sat down.  A little miffed I sat down in my swivel chair and leaned forward with a charming grin.  “How can I help you…?”

“Mrs. Von Bucati.”

“And how did you find out about me?” I asked leaning back.

“On the Internet.  I understand you deal with Wills, Mr. Charles Deleppe.”

“One of many things, Mrs. Von Bucati,” I reply smugly.

She smiled at me with real teeth, quite amazing considering her age.  “I wish to leave everything to my nephew Sar Harrop, including my land and mansion.”

 

 

 

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

This is a bit long so if you want just skip down to the continuation of the The Von Bucati Mansion.  The Dark Tower movie is coming out.  I read Stephen King’s series and was left disgruntled.  His writing of Roland’s past, the gunslingers, was amazing, but other parts were disappointing.  If you’ve read or watched The Stand, The Green Mile, The Shawshank Redemption, just to list a few, you know Mr. King can write fantastic stories.  What bothers me about the Dark Tower series is that he delved into the darkness when he could have had a much stronger story if he followed more of the depth.  That Stephen King added himself into the story, I felt, was wrong.  It could be he was in pain and angry from horrendous injuries caused by a drunk driver, and I can relate to getting hit and injured by a vehicle, but he should not have included himself.  Roland Childe and the Dark Tower don’t belong to Mr. King, they belong to Robert Browning.    My hope is that with a powerful cast of Idris Elba as Roland and Matthew McConaughey as Walter, Mr. King has allowed director Nicolaj Arcel to follow the depth and less of the darkness.

Cont…

“What about businesses?” I asked leaning forward.  I think the old bird is really taken by me.

“That’s all taken care of,” she replies, still smiling, staring at me with her one clear eye.  “I have rented a small cottage in the Muskoka’s and would like you to attend with a number of other chosen people.”  She glances at a Ferrari calendar hanging behind me.  “Today is the second of June, 2021.  Mark in your calendar for June twenty-third to be at Chateau Morgan on Lake Eugenia.”

I lean back.  “I’m not sure I’ll be available that day.”  It’s important to never let a client tell you what to do.

“That would not do, Mr. Deleppe.”  Her one good eye has gotten as menacing as the tone of her voice.  “Would you like to be picked up?”

I gulp.  “Yes, I can catch up on work on the way up.”  There’s a chill in the air all of a sudden.

She puts her right hand on top of mine and the touch is icy.  “This old body really needs replacing Mr. Deleppe.  It is getting old and falling to pieces.”

“How old are you?”  I ask as I slip my hand away from hers.

“I was born in 1890, so be nice to me,” she says winking at me with her good eye.  She reaches into her purse and pulls out a legal envelope.  “This is my will and signed by two very old friends.  If you could look it over and approve of it.  I realize you lawyers, like anyone else, like to discuss cases and perhaps wills.  Please do not discuss my will with anyone.”  She stands up.

I get up myself and walk her to the door.  When I open it heat blasts in.  “Where is  your driver?” I ask.

“I prefer to drive myself.”  Her smile is young; vivacious comes to mind.  “I’ll see you at the Chateau.”

I step out and watch her walk to the little parking lot I share with three other defence lawyers.  I can’t believe it!  She just slipped behind the wheel of an olive green compact Jaguar full of curves.  I take a picture with my cell phone and click Identify.  Now this is something else, it’s a 1957 Jaguar XKSS Roadster.  The actor Steve McQueen had one.  Oh, I’m going to make a lot of money off this client!

 

 

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

 

Just started reading Christopher Moore.  A client 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 humour.  But if you want a ride of a story check out Moore’s “You Suck: A Love Story”.

Cont. (Blog 3)

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 jewellery 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 accidently 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.”

 

 

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

I think the reason Marvel (Disney) is box office is succeeding over DC (Warner Bros.) is that Marvel has light humour (Hulk punching Thor after they fought together to defeat Loki’s minions) while DC is dark humour (the Joker to Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad:  “I’m not going to kill you I’m just gonna hurt you really, really bad.”  As for horror DC wins, Heath Ledger’s Joker made the skin crawl.

Cont. (Blog 4)

I’m frustrated.  Elizabeth Von Bucati has left me no method to contact her.  I went through her Will and there’s no phone number, e-mail address not even a home address.  There is nothing on the web that tells me how to contact anyone in the Bucati family or their company Iterum Vivere.  I want the 250 GTO Technopromo model car from Bert but I won’t get it if I can’t contact Mrs. Von Bucati!  I drive a 2017 cherry red Alfa Romeo 4C year round.  All I need to do is charm Mrs. Von Bucati and get more of her family or business contacts to hire me as their family lawyer and I can buy my dream car, a Ferrari F355 Spider.  I would have to buy a winter car or just keep the Alfa Romeo 4C.

Because I’m a General Practice Lawyer I can handle wills, court representation and other matters.  The deal made between myself, Bert, Bob, and Janet is that if there is any overlap we help each other out.  If an employer at the corporation Bert represents needs a lawyer for a personal matter he would give them my card.  If I represent someone who needs a lawyer for personal injury at work, I collaborate with Bob.  If I, Bert, or Bob have a client who is up on criminal charges we bring Janet on board.

I haven’t won a case yet, because the judges always feel my evidence is too strong, so they attack me personally, trying to prove inconclusively that my facts are not solid.  I asked Janet to help me with a case a few months ago.  She gave me poor advice, and I chose to ignore it.  Because of her, my client ended up going to prison for a year.  I’ve forgiven her, but she’s so embarrassed she doesn’t talk to me anymore.

I have now spent half an hour trying to find a way to contact Mrs. Von Bucati.  I’ll do a bit of grocery shopping before I look at what messages I want to answer.

Varilla’s Grocery Store is at the corner of my office’s block.  Adelaide Street is so congested at 11 a.m. I just walk over.  As I pull out a cart I see a thick, black wallet.  The store has a few moms with kids in their carts but mostly elderly people shuffling around.  Not too many people in the cereal aisle so I’ll get my Cap’n Crunch and Alphabets cereal first.  I put the Alphabets box into the cart and grab the wallet and slip it into my left suit pocket.  I’m sure the store has cheap cameras but I’ll say I was going to return it if anyone saw me take it.  As a lawyer I know how store security works and how to talk my way out of awkward situations.

I pick up a few produce and head over to the cashier.  She’s middle aged and very friendly.  No indication that she knows I took the wallet.  It’s not really stealing, it’s a choice.  Finders Keeper Losers Weepers is a mantra I believe in unless I’m the loser.  If that ever happens I will take whoever the moron is who stole my property to court.

Back at my office I slip the wallet out.  There’s two hundred dollars in twenties and fifties!  Poor sap.  I don’t feel it is ethical to use or take personal items like driver licence’s, or family pictures, and debit and credit cards can be traced.  Without trying to find out whose wallet it is I drop it inside my waste basket.  I’ll just put my groceries in the communal fridge and empty the wallet later into the dumpster at the edge of the parking lot.

 

 

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, DRAGON: The Emerald Of Light on Amazon.com

 

Cont.  (Blog 5)

As I walk into the kitchenette I see Janet sitting at the table eating a burrito and drinking a Coke Zero.  She has wonderful, long red hair that bobs at her shoulders.  I don’t think her hair is actually red since I can see chestnut brown roots but who cares.  I can tell she’s busty under her violet blouse and see her toned legs below the hem of her black skirt.  Her green eyes glare up at me as sauce drips down the side of her mouth.  I can’t help but smile at her to let her know I have forgiven her.

“Gerald Hine is going to prison for a year,” she shouts at me through a mouthful of burrito and pop.

“That was your fault Janet,” I say, shaking my head.

She gets up and slaps her palms on the table.  Food bits are shooting out of her mouth at me as she shouts, “If you had listened to me he would be back on the street!”  So much Irish ire in such a tiny person!

I slip through the door to my office but I can hear her following me.  “I told you to include the part about the alcoholic saying he didn’t see Gerald breaking into the back door but you ignored me!” she shouted.

It was time to take up a defensive position.  I sit in my swivel chair, put my hands behind my head and heave my feet onto my desk.  “No one cares what a homeless drunk says.”  I smile smugly and shrug.

“Yes they–.”  Her eyes move from me to the waste basket where here her eyebrows knit in a very attractive way.

“No they don’t.”  I start saying, trying to get her attention but it’s too late, she isn’t listening.

She puts the wallet onto the edge of my desk.  “I thought your wallet was brown.”

“It is, that must be a client’s,” I reply.

She opens up the wallet and slips out a licence card.  “Richard Lee.  His address is on my way home, I’ll drop it off to him.”

I can feel my face going red and my throat constricting.  “Better I do it since he’s my client.”

“Maybe he needs a real lawyer,” she shoots back, “I’ll take it.”

I follow her back to the kitchenette.  “I should take it back to him.” I argue.

“No!”  She says slipping it into her purse.

I give her a parental sigh.  “Give the wallet and you come with me when I drop it off.  You can take me to dinner afterwards.”

“What!?” she screams at me.  “Why should I take you out for dinner?”

“To make up for Gerald Hine going to jail for a year.”

Her mouth is open in disbelief.  She can’t refute that it was her fault.

She puts the wallet on the table.  “4 p.m. we go.  I have Richard’s address memorized so I’ll drive.”

“If it makes you feel better,” I say pulling the wallet to me.

She stomps out.

I take my wallet out and slip the cash back into Richard Lee’s.  I lose the money but gain a date with Janet.  I just need to get a hold of Elizabeth von Bucati.

 

The Von Bucati Mansion

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