The Cottage – Part Six – (Short Story)

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Part One –Click Here | Part Two – Click Here Part Three – Click Here | Part Four – Click Here | Part Five – Click Here

As the week wore on Jim grew comfortable. His initial carelessness returned.

He rambled in the woods, feasted on his uncle’s ample supply of venison, and drank much whiskey.

Thursday came and Thursday went and there were no consequences.

His Yankee pallor disappeared. He was bronzed and game fed. The wiry in him gave way to brawn. It was a solid frame that strode out the wood and into Reed that Tuesday.

As Jim exited the post office clutching a bank statement that confirmed his uncle’s promise the massive frame of Dutch rounded the corner.

The giant paused and gave Jim a steady look over.

And then in his slow pithy way said, “I see ya been lookin’ a’ter yerself.”

Jim shrugged.

“Have ye been lookin’ after da property?”

“Ya bet. Ain’t nothin much to do beside. Place is as spick and span as it was. I’ve moved nothing. It’s all as blessedly neurotic as Hant himself.”

“That ain’t the whole of care.”

“Huh?”

“Ye’ve only dun a quarter.”

“What you want me to start a vegetable garden too?”

“Nah., I mean yea ain’t wise.”

“What? I mean yeah, I thought about joining the mob. But they beat that Connor kid to death…kept wakin’ him up with coke…and kept on beatin. Least that’s what my brother told me. So, yean. I decided not to get wise.”

Dutch shook his head slowly.

“I mean ye look like a fool.”

“Well, I don’t put on airs. And I don’t know much, nor do I care to. I’m a friggin Buddhist ya see. I take the middle way. Worked so far.”

“Won’t here.”

“Huh?”

“Ya didn’t honor the ways.”

“Screw the ways. Frank Sinatra said that I think.”

“Why did’n ya put out the Seng?”

“Cause it’s better as a garnish.”

Suddenly a sharp pain erupted from Jim’s right ear.

“Your better open these fool!” Old Lizzy cried.

“Fuck.” Jim said as he recovered from the shock and surprise.

“I’m getting’ kinda tired of ya. If you weren’t a woman I’da decked ya.”

“I ain’t no woman. I’m a Viking. And if yer hankering for a fight I’ll lick ya right here.”

“Crazy old bat…”

“Ye know what else is old? The ways is old. And ye’d better learn to respect your elders.”

“Wasn’t it your generation that said never trust anybody over thirty?”

“Look fool if you want to keep getting that pay, you’d best follow the way. I rhymed it…I even rhymed it for ya. We’ll know…we’ll know, and your uncle will know, and your inheritance will be as empty as ye.”

“See…there we go. Capitalism…this I understand.”

“Good.” Lizzy said. “Cause if ye don’t at least make a show of heedin than something far deeper, far older, than these hollows will make ye understand.”

“Gotcha auntie.” Jim winked. “I understand more than I let on. Which is why I need to jet, or I won’t beat the sunset. I even rhymed it for ya.”

“Smarts don’t do much good here, fool.” She said as her and Dutch turned as one to go.

“Crazy ass hicks.” Jim said striding down the long meandering trail home.


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