When Leonard Perot passed, the small town of Jasper erupted into a steady stream of gossip and condolences. "Cirrhosis," his daughter tells me as she lugs laundry baskets full of beer bottles out into the yard. "Real shame," I say. The Sunday bell rings off in the distance. My(more) gaze lifts from the baubles and trinkets, which are neatly arranged on a tablecloth covering an ironing board, and to the passing church-ladies clad in gaudy pink dresses and flowery hats.
"This place sure is lively," I say to the Perot daughter. A smile is exhumed from her serious face.
"I think it was a broken heart, though," she says.
"My father. I don't think it was the drink, although that probably didn't help. He was a rotten bastard in spirit, so his body followed."
"You say that pretty casually. Your father was a respectable man," I say out of a sense of duty.
"Don't get me wrong, it still hurts. There's just nothing to do about it now but sell knick-knacks and get rid of the house." She brushes a few stray strands of gold hair from her face and surveys the yard for more chores. She seems satisfied with how functional she has become.
"Guess so," I say. "How much for this music box?"
I spin the silver handle and a porcelain ballerina follows suit. A sad little melody accompanies her pirouettes. Leonard's daughter gives me a look as if I've violated some deep unwritten rule of nature. She takes the dancer from my hand and stops the melody with a counterclockwise motion.
"Didn't mean any harm," I say.
Tears uncoil from within her little face. "Take it all, take every last thing."
I hold her tenderly while the sun beats down on the yard. Death isn't easy.(less)
"RISE AN SHINE BOYS, TODAYS A GOOD DAY FOR WORK!!!"
Aaron jumps to a startled and flops to the floor. The hammock sways on top of him as he groans to the floor.
(more) "STOP MAKIN LOVE TO THAT OAK SEA DOG, AND GRAB RICHARD ON YOUR WAY UP"
Aaron lays there for a few moments, mostly waiting for the sound of the trap door closing. Once it comes, he stands up, brushes off an excuse of a blanket and heads toward the back of the room. There lays Richard, inside a burrito of actual blankets. Aaron kicks the bundle, softly at first then more forcefully until finally a head pops up from the bundle.
"Captain wants us" Aaron signs "Looks like we got a score."
Richard nods then slowly rises. Both exit the trapdoor and spots the captain with they new employer.
"Finally the Growler brothers a rises." The Captain then points to their colleague, "This salty snake juice needs a wind up treatment, 50k and what ever else you two manage to haggle in Stewart. I also want 25k from the locals, 10 minimum, got it."
"Sure boss" signs Richard sleepily
"Do we have a time limit?" asks Aaron
"Nope," says the employer, "I just want the damage to be done."
"Okay, we'll sail up next day break and do some chaos buy the next moon, any places or anyone in particular?" asks Aaron
"If you happen to see a golden miss molly, kick him last. Let him know that he caused this wind up."
The brothers nod and heads back to the trap door. As a small exchange of coins is made, the brothers began polishing their weapons; once someone or someplace has gotten the wind up order, its never the same again.