Day 287 – The Salesman – Part 4

Word count: 790

Brian slipped on his socks and laid back on his make-shift bed. Rachel, his wife, had already left, leaving her own pile of dishes stacked by the sink. If they weren’t done by the time she got back, there would be an argument. She worked long hours though, a nurse at a hospital. They barely saw each other, but when they did it was either explosive or placidly unfriendly. Brian made himself a coffee, making sure to wash the cup and the rest of the dishes before he left, and drove round to his newest working location. He was more relaxed around these parts. It was easy as anything to get a sale here. The old widows, widowers and old married couples were dying – literally – to buy anything to stave off the boredom.

His first target was a leafy little house at the start of the street. It had a tiny red fence and a crab apple tree growing by the gate. From the road, the rest of the garden looked old and overrun. It did not look like anyone had been tending to it recently at all. Brian took out his briefcase and mentally prepared today’s big sell. It was going to be kitchens. Old people loved getting new kitchens. They didn’t like yachts or time-shares. Selling them kitchens was like selling candy to children.
The garden didn’t look much nicer from the inside either, Brian inspected as he pushed open the gate. It had potential – it had loads of potential. There was a huge lawn – ruined by over-long grass and weeds – and towards the back there were mighty oak trees. It would have looked lovely if someone had cared for it.
Brian stepped up to the front door – a cute little vestibule area complete with an overhang roof and a few straw seats with matching cushions. There were plant pots around this area too, but the plants in them were long gone now. Brian waited patiently for a response. As he did so, he could sense a pair of eyes watching him. It creeped him out. Many people did this, however – it was a frequent occurrence in some neighbourhoods for the homeowners to spy on any visitors before greeting them. Still, there was something odd about this one.
He must have imagined it, however, for a moment later the door was being opened and the maddest, craziest woman appeared in front of him. She must have been about three foot high, but the stare she returned him carried the weight of iron shotputs, piercing javelins, broadswords, battle axes and bone-splitting crossbows. Her eyes seemed not to be able to focus on the same place at once. One of them in fact looked like it could be made of glass. Her skin was drooping off of her and her grey wisp of a hair was as wild as if it had been styled in a thunderstorm.
“Yes?” she said, quietly, suspiciously.
“Good morning, my name is Brian and I’m from the –”
“I know, I know. Come in. Do you want tea?”
She let Brian into the house. It was dark, very dark.
“Sorry about the dark, I hate the light. It gives me headaches.”
Brian followed her into a dark living room with dark furniture.
“Sit here,” she murmured, “I’ll get the tea.”
Brian could do nothing but stare around. As his eyes adjusted to the light levels, he saw screeds and screeds of books stored in the most ornate bookcases; there were plants – living plants – growing on shelves and beautiful antiques placed very precisely on every surface. There was no dust; there was no dirt. It was quite the contrary to the garden outside.
The woman returned shortly after the whirring sound of a kettle boiling.
Brian immediately returned from awe-mode to sales-mode.
“Ah thank you madamme, now I couldn’t help but wonder if you’d boiled that water on an old kitchen stove?”
“Yes, yes I did. So what? I don’t want your kitchens. A man came yesterday. I am happy with one.”
“Oh right,” Brian subtly made to leave immediately.
“Stay. I didn’t bring you in for that.”
“Then, please forgive my intrigue, why did you let me in?”
“Because there’s something else I want you to do for me.”
“Well we have yachts, time-shares…Retirement plans…Life insurance?”
“No, no, no none of that. I want you to do something that isn’t in your brochure. I knew you’d do it the first time I clapped eyes on you from the side window. You looked like you weren’t one of those young ones. You looked different. Experienced.”
“What is it that you want me to do for you?”
“I want you to kill someone for me.”

~ by S.G. Mark on July 20, 2012.

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