“Inspection” Chapter 10B in the Panooksa Saga

Idea by Tom Austin                                                       Written by Tom Austin           

Revised by Tom Austin

“I suppose we can take a look at it right now if you want to. But remember you’re in the Second Realm now. You can’t hop in a car or hail a cab.”

Brad risked Tyler’s wrath and interrupted.

“That’s what I would like to know. The entire time we’ve been here we haven’t seen a single car, cab, or even a horse. How you folks  get around here?”

Milly closed her eyes and winced. Surprisingly her father’s temper did not explode as she fully expected. Instead, her father praised Brad for noticing the lack of transport.

“Brad raises an excellent question. If a person, or in this case persons are going to live in this realm they are going to find out sooner or later. This isn’t science fiction or an episode of The Twilight Zone Brad. We get around via telepathy. Some people prefer to walk, and that’s fine if you’re going short distances like we did when we first met. But if a person wants to go to a specific place like we do we go via telepathy. You stand still, you clear your mind and think of where you want to go. If your mind isn’t clear you could find yourself halfway up a tree. That’s what happened to me shortly after Tilly and I came here. It’s also handy if you want to find a specific person. Say you wanted to see that Merlin fellow but you didn’t know where he was. Travel by telepathy would take you to with ten feet of him.”

“What if he was a busy, or otherwise engaged daddy,” asked Milly.

“You’d see a large red busy signal sign.”

Brad leaned over to Milly and quietly said “I’m pretty sure I don’t want that image in my mind ever. Just the idea of seeing Merlin getting busy is rather unsettling.”

Tyler asked everybody to stand.

“Milly, hold Brad’s hand. I’ll hold your mother’s hand. And Tilly, hold on to Brads other hand. We’re about to go to the road just outside the house.”

Everybody held hands. “How come I feel like I’m at some of revival meeting,” said Brad.

All color suddenly disappeared, they vanished, and all four found themselves on the road outside the house. Absolutely nothing went wrong in the transport. Except for some reason Brad ended with a wooden bucket over his head.

“Hey! Who turned out the lights?”

Milly turned her head, looked at Brad, and started to laugh. Tilly snickered a bit too.

Tyler helped Brad get the bucket off his head.

“That, my boy, is probably because of that revival comment.”

“The groom-to-be is not amused.”

Their next attempt at getting to the house in the picture was far more successful.

Milly ran up the stairs at the front and ran to the porch swing. She was so happy. Her dream was coming true. Then she inspected the wood trim on the front windows by tapping on it with her fingernails. If the wood was old and in need of repair her fingernails would leave an impression in the trim. They were alright. She opened the front door and spun in the hall. The wood paneling was perfect. She went from the living room to the front hall to the dining room.

“Everything is perfect!” she squealed.

When she inspected the kitchen she was struck by its sheer enormity. “It’s almost as big as the apartment back in the city” she exclaimed. Then she darted upstairs. She decided the wooden floors in the main bedroom might need some work. Brad, Tilly, and Tyler were coming up the staircase when Milly suddenly darted through the hall going from the main bedroom to the guest bedroom.

“I love it, I love, I love it” she said

Brad inspected the electrical and plumbing work. He was surprised to find circuit breakers. He couldn’t help but notice the screws were still shiny. And they still had the marks of the screwdriver that put them there. “I cant find a thing wrong. Are you telling me you didn’t have anybody do any work here ?”. Tyler said they couldn’t have and they didn’t own the house. While Tyler was talking with Brad Tilly thought she heard a noise downstairs. She went to inspect. When she got to the main floor she found Sirena Telford.

“What are you nitwits doing in my house,” said Sirena.

Tilly explained that they thought the property was for sale.

“It is ! she bellowed. “It’s my house, I’m selling it. Now get out!”.

Tyler now appeared, and patiently explained what he and Tilly wanted to do. It didn’t do any good. Then Milly appeared.

“What’s all the racket? Who is making enough noise to shake the rafters?”

“And I suppose you’re their brat”. Brad now came downstairs, and just in time to restrain Milly from knocking Sirena into next the next county.

“Who’s the hunk? I haven’t seen you before. You must be new in The Town.” and she flicked a lock of Brad’s hair.

Milly went berserk when she saw that. “He’s my fiancé you bitter old witch,” said Milly who tried to claw at Sirena. Brad held Milly arms with one hand. He put his other arm around Milly’s waist and took one step back to prevent Milly from clawing or kicking Sirena. “Let me at her. I’ll put super bitch in the hospital.”

Tyler took over. “I apologize for my daughter’s behavior. We’ll leave. But I suspect you just alienated the only potential buyer.”

Tyler, Tilly, and Brad went to the road. Brad, who still had an arm around Milly’s waist while the other held her arms tried to clear their minds so they could teleport back to the house. However, with Milly squirming and swearing teleporting wasn’t easy. When they finally were outside the  Shine house Tyler suggested to Brad it might a good idea if he could put her in the shower when they got home. In the living room, Milly’s behavior became more annoying. She collapsed on the floor like a small child having a tantrum. He picked her up at the waist of her pants and hauled her into the shower. He then turned on the cold water. Screams came from the shower. Then crying.

Brad and Tyler sat in chairs situated in the living room and took stock of recent events. “Well, that was an interesting little jaunt. Just who the heck was that?” asked Brad.

Tyler leaned forward, rested his elbows on his legs, and massaged the rapidly tensing muscles in the neck.

“That was Sirena Telford. She is The Towns resident pain in the ass and the worlds most pathetic excuse for a human being. If The Town votes to do something she’ll vote against it. You see when then minutes from the meeting are printed  her name will be in print. She gets her jollies from that. She’s the longest living resident of the town. I think she used to be a movie star or something”

“Well I’ve never heard of her and I took the history of film class when I was at college,” said Brad. “Why is she so bitter” added Brad.

“You no doubt noticed that conical gown she wore.”

“I couldn’t help but notice. What’s the story with that?”

“The word around town is this and I’ll number the highlights for you. One. She thought she was gods gift to Hollywood. Two.  Nobody would work with her because of her temper, and her constant insults. Three. When she couldn’t get work she sulked inside her mansion and watched old movies of herself. Four. She tried to blow her brains out with a pistol. The trigger had already been pulled and the bullet was speeding down the barrel. That’s when Messenger intervened. Only he botched the job. There wasn’t enough time to fully come to this realm. Coming to this realm didn’t work out as planned. The poor woman’s head and body made it, but her feet were a shriveled mess. Messenger constructed that gown for her so she could move around or “glide” as she puts it. But all that did was make her angrier, and let all that met her know she couldn’t walk. That’s why she’s so bitter and angry with everyone she meets. Miss Personality is angry at the world, and won’t let any of us forget it. The fact that none of us in The Realm had anything to do with her accident doesn’t seem to matter. We’re all guilty by association with Messenger. Even you and Milly.”


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