September 10, 2014 at 3:55 am #116
(And her struggles with editorial and cleaning staff anarchy)
May 19, 2016 at 2:42 am #4043May 23, 2016 at 4:14 pm #4051June 30, 2016 at 4:58 am #4065
It was with undisguised delight that Liz realized that Finnley wasn’t right after all. A glimmer of hope had whistled in with the wind, stirring the dust laden cobwebs festooned across the threads. The clouds parted, sending shafts of sunlight to spear the dark recesses, illuminating the aimless floating of dust motes and dislodged detritus.July 1, 2016 at 2:41 am #4066
Godfrey kind of liked the silence of late.
Finnley under the guise of regular taichi practice, had been actually quite busy ushering the randomly scurrying forgotten characters out of the house into the wild, with a broomstick and a mild dose of threat.
The Splendor Manor had fell pleasantly silent. Too silent for Liz probably, who had started to notice and launch back into gears her creaking storytelling joints.July 1, 2016 at 5:24 am #4067FloveParticipant
“Turmeric,” said Finnley succinctly, with a meaningful nod in the direction of the kitchen. “Your creaking is doing my head in.”July 4, 2016 at 12:41 am #4074July 4, 2016 at 5:49 am #4079July 5, 2016 at 2:21 am #4087
“And don’t forget the black pepper dear!” Godfrey chimed in, “it’s been known to enhance the effects drastically.”July 5, 2016 at 5:48 am #4089
“They do say” remarked Liz in between sneezes, “That blinking out is very good ~ Achoo ~ very good for you.”July 6, 2016 at 1:47 am #4097July 6, 2016 at 6:50 am #4101
“Godfrey, isn’t the new platform ready yet? I don’t know why you’re butting your nose in here, when you have work to do! Finnley, perhaps while I soak in the bath you’d be kind enough to explain to me what is going on.”
“I think I’ll give that a miss, thanks, and let you bathe on your own,” replied the cleaner, aghast at the idea.July 11, 2016 at 8:15 am #4110
“Liz’! We’re all waiting for you now, it’s been nearly a week you’ve been soaking in that bath of yours, I’m dreading how wrinkled you may look now, and the amount of virgin coconut oil you will need to moisturize everything, but I digress. Liz’ get out now!”
Godfrey was supervising an unusual and unexpected commission.
The Anthology of Her Works.
It was a working title, but the idea was simple enough, and yet completely nuts and daunting. Put together the massive material that Liz (and her ghostwriters) had amassed all those years.
That someone would want to sponsor the adventure seemed completely crazy, so they would have to hurry before the anonymous donor came back to his or her senses and realize the whole futility of the adventure.
“LIZ’!” There was urgency in his voice.
“COMING, FOR BLUBBER’S SAKE! STOP THAT RACKET AT ONCE GODFREY OR I’LL HAVE YOU FIRED.”
Liz’ finally emerged out of the room, in full regalia, with her silk dragon-patterned black bath-gown, definitely a bit wrinkled at the scalp, but overall looking completely re-energized and ready to embraze the magnitude of the work to be done (meaning: ready to boss everybody around to get it done).
“So what’s that all about Godfrey? Have we run out of peanuts?”
“Good Lord no, perish the thought.”
“So why are you here at the table with Finnley and the handsome gardener, what’s his name already?”
“Yes, that’s right,… Alberto. Thank you Finnley, you’re a dear. So what is it, that has you all here plotting around? I’m not paying you to roll blubbit’s droppings in batter…”July 14, 2016 at 10:47 am #4114
Liz adjusted her reclining chair and lit another cigarette. Idly, she contemplated getting up to make another cup of tea, but was not thus far compelled to take the necessary action. There were advantages and disadvantages to locking the others in the cellar to work on her anthology. She had to make her own tea, it was true, but the unaccustomed peace was worth it ~ so far, anyway. Glancing out of the window, she noticed the lawns were in need of mowing and the herbaceous borders needed dead heading, but it was still green and pretty, if a trifle unkempt, and the birds still sang in the branches of the plum tree. “Blubbit, blubbit, blubbit,” they seemed to be calling, with the occasional “peakle!” shreik.
“Can’t get the staff to stick around and mow the grass these days,” the thought popped into her head, which reminded her of something else, something a wise man had once said about certain types of gardeners. “Great at planting the seeds, not so reliable about finishing the weeding, though.”July 14, 2016 at 10:54 am #4115July 18, 2016 at 5:30 pm #4132
Liz perused the “jobs wanted” notices without much enthusiasm. It really was quite tedious with no staff around, and nobody to talk to. The thought of training new staff, was rather off putting, but the interviewing could be fun. Or perhaps a holiday, somewhere exotic.
“I know!” she exclaimed out loud, “I’ll go to Peasland!”
Suddenly a crash sounded from the cellar below. A muffled voice bellowed, “Somebody stop her!”July 20, 2016 at 12:43 am #4134
The front door rang at the same time.
Elizabeth was in the mood to let it ring until whoever was there finally let it go, but there was an imperative and distinct sting in that ring.
She wrapped her night gown around her waist, carefully adjusted her towel beehive coiffe, and sluggishly slid on her rabbit slippers to the door. That summer heat was just too unbearable.
“COMING!” She yelled at the door, estimating her arrival there at another good minute of bunny slipper sliding and slaloming around the scattered mess.
When she finally managed to open the door, her worst fears proved true.
“Elizabeth! What sort of attire is that?! Are you sloshed already?”
“Damn bloody right it is, and not a minute too late, by the look of that place. Having another of your barmy spells haven’t you? I knew something was wrong when that delightful maid of yours stopped phoning in for her daily report. Now, budge up, let me in, take care of that mess of yours.”July 20, 2016 at 2:09 am #4135
Liz’ delicate nose quivered at the heavy scent of her mother’s perfume. As long as she could remember, it had created a thickness in the air, moving around in the house, filling in every corner, invading every space.
Two men, who looked like those magazine top models, followed in with her mother’s suitcases. They put it in the entrance, got out and came back shortly after with other suitcases. Some were black, some were white, creating an ensemble like a chessboard.
“How long are you staying ?” Liz managed to get out of her lumpy throat.July 20, 2016 at 3:08 am #4137
Her mother looked offended “That’s just like you, really. I’ve just arrived darling!”
But this was all a carefully crafted facade. She quickly took a more natural, meaner look “Well, if you should ask, as long as it takes to help you get your shit back together. Isn’t it the bee’s knees!”
Liz’ felt her usual wits and quick tongue completely floored by her mother’s invading presence. She couldn’t think of a clever thing to say, so she remained silent, while her mother was getting herself settled.
“Leon!” the mother waved at one of the muscular studs
“Get those poor souls out of the cellar, will you. We’re in sore need of some cleaning there. And when you’re done, get the gardener to clean the pool. It looks like it’s full of tadpoles.”July 21, 2016 at 1:59 am #4138
“M’am, I am quite honoured to meet you” Godfrey felt the need to add a creeping “Your daughter always speaks highly of you…”
“Don’t be silly, dear” cooed the mother “You can call me Felicity, no need to make me feel like a granny.”
“Traitor” muttered Liz’ between her teeth. She was spread across the sofa while monitoring the developments of her Mother’s coup and trying to gather her wits and plan her next move. Mother wouldn’t be easily defeated. Last time, Liz’ had to resort to a rats and roaches invasion. Made the house unlivable for months. But quite worth it.
“Has your latest gigolo grown tired of you and thrown you out… again?” she interrupted the amiable chatter of her mother and Godfrey.
“Dear, dear, don’t brood like that, it makes you look like your father. You know my mother instincts have always been very strong. Call it my antennas if you shall — I can always tell when you’re not right, and I can’t let you down this slope.” She retorted, queenly ignoring the rude comment.July 21, 2016 at 7:23 am #4139
“What do we do with this ?” asked Roberto.
Felicity removed her sunglasses and looked at the gardener appreciatively. He was wearing his usual dungarees, with no shirt. She then looked at the mannequin covered in maps he was holding in his arms.
“Put it back in the attic”, said Liz.
“Don’t tell me you still do collage”, said her Mother. “I could understand, barely, when you were ten years old, but now… Put it in the trash”, she looked at the gardener longer than necessary, “whoever you are.” She turned to her daughter still spread in the sofa. “What’s his name? Are you two… ?”
“I’m sure Leon and his twin are enough, don’t you think ?” said Liz bitterly. She felt possessive about Roberto, she knew it was silly but she had to get hold on to something before her mother could strip her of her life. An idea began to emerge in her feverish mind. There had been recent articles about a new game attracting swarms of players, she would ask Godfrey to make signs indicating there was a nest of those Pookemoon in her garden, and maybe in the house. People should certainly be more easy to get rid off than rats and roaches…
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