They realized the narrator was unreliable.
Brought to you with “J’accuse!” and a fierce sense of justice by Journaling as Sacred Practice: An Act of Extreme Bravery. Available now on Amazon.
They realized the narrator was unreliable.
Brought to you with “J’accuse!” and a fierce sense of justice by Journaling as Sacred Practice: An Act of Extreme Bravery. Available now on Amazon.
IN A DARK, DARK WOOD
Ruth Ware’s debut novel, In a Dark, Dark Wood, possesses all the best elements of a thriller: a remote country estate, a bachelorette party, and a group of frenemies that really, really should have scrubbed their email lists and left each other well enough alone after those terrible school days. But then, where’s the pleasure in that?
The story is narrated by Nora, an author who specializes in crime thrillers. Back in school, she was called Lee, short for Leonora. Only one person ever called her Leo, and it was her first love, James. But then he broke up with her. . .via text. . .and she moved on. Ten years later, Nora is mostly okay, writing novels and living a fine, urban single life.
Then one day out of the blue, she receives an invitation to an old friend’s wedding. Surprised, she feels a little sorry for Clare, thinking that maybe she has no other girls to invite, having to dredge back ten years for her bachelorette do. Nora is undecided about whether or not to attend the hen, but her invite is followed quickly by an email from Nina, who is also wary of Clare’s motives. “If you go, I will,” she says. Nora agrees and they somehow wind up traveling to the remote English countryside together.
Nina hates the country and misses her girlfriend, and Nora is straightway filled with dread by their accommodations: a modern glass box dropped unceremoniously in a meadow at the edge of a dark and menacing wood. The house belongs to Flo’s aunt and feels to Nora like a dangerous cage, though it is only a country estate, complete with a shotgun hung over the living room fireplace.
Miles from anywhere, cell reception is sketchy and the revelers are coolly irritable. When Clare announces to Nora that the reason she was invited to the hen and not the wedding is because the groom-to-be is the infamous James, the weekend really takes a turn. It doesn’t help that Flo’s hen party games involve embarrassing details about the bride and groom, shaming and humiliating Nora repeatedly. And then it snows. And then the land lines go out and the hen fete devolves into a churlish clutch of drunken, paranoid hostages. Fun!
When the phones go down, Melanie decides to bail, a welcome excuse to return home to her infant son. Flo is alternately weepy and aggressive toward anyone who isn’t into the spirit of the weekend. Tom would rather be home with his husband but stays on, drinking gin and taking well-aimed shots at Nina and Nora. Clare plays referee, keeping anyone from coming to actual blows.
After two days of slowly escalating hell, Nora wakes up in a hospital confused, horribly bruised, and under police watch. She is suspected of murder, but she can’t remember what happened. The harder she tries to recall, the more the truth evades her.
Novelist Ware has created a deft and ominous page turner in this fabulous thriller, replete with plot twists, red herrings, and a truly scary villain. If you’re still looking for provocative poolside reading to finish the summer, this novel should do nicely.
If you look up the word “time” in Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, you’ll see a list of fourteen definitions for time as a noun, eight as a colloquialism, five as a verb, eleven as an adjective, one as an adverb, and no less than forty-one words that start with the word time (time lapse, time-out, time immemorial, to name a few). Judging by the amount of “time” Webster’s devotes to the word, time appears to be as ubiquitous as air. No wonder we don’t understand it. Read more here…
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Read this book and dream again.
As Gil’s slippered feet hit the carpeted stairs, Kori was opening the front door. Gil froze. Sunlight blazed in through the door obliterating the man’s visage, but Gil could see the silhouette looming and spreading across the space between the door frame. Kori exchanged pleasantries which Gil didn’t catch because his ears were buzzing. She gestured toward Gil on the stairs and the large man in the Armani suit stood in the middle of the living room moving his mouth, but with no sound coming out. The man smiled his giant toothy smile, waiting for Gil to say something, Gil was sure. Kori slammed the door behind the man and Gil ducked at the sound. The man had one foot on the second stair now. Gil’s throat emitted a strange noise, even by his standards, as the man held out his hand for a shake. Gil grabbed Max by the collar, ran upstairs and locked himself in his room.
Bicky stood with his foot on the stair, his hand outstretched in the gesture of greeting. He watched Gil’s lithe body retreat until he crested the top of the stairs and disappeared. Bicky turned to look at Kori, his arm still outstretched.
“Was it something I said?”
“He gets like that. He’s really smart. It comes out in weird ways.” She ran a hand through her hair and looked Bicky over, the Armani suit, the soft hands with nails more expertly manicured than her own. “Maybe you want to come back after breakfast? He’s usually pretty communicative after a meal.”
Bicky’s face contorted into something that had the capacity to be a smile, but fell short somehow.
“How about I talk to you for awhile?” Bicky said.
Kori shrugged. “I guess that’s okay.”
“Maybe your other brother, too. Is he home?”
Kori narrowed her eyes and opened her mouth as if to speak.
“The newspaper article,” Bicky said, intercepting her query.
“Oh. Okay.” She turned and led him to the kitchen. Avery looked up from reading his magazine, but his expression did not change.
“Avery, this is Mr. Coleman. He owns Akanabi Oil. He wants to talk to us about the TDU.” Bicky held out his hand for a shake, but Avery ignored it. Instead, he stood, coming eye-to-eye with Bicky, and sneezed.
“Excuse me,” Avery said, and walked around Bicky holding a hand over his nose to hide the runny mucus. He sneezed again, grabbed a few tissues and blew out a noseful of snot. He tossed the tissues in the trash can, then held out his hand to Bicky who dropped his own hand to his side. Avery sneezed again, but it was only the first in a continuing series.
Kori counted ten sneezes before she said, “Why don’t we go sit in the living room and wait until Avery’s done.” Bicky nodded and retreated. Kori glanced back over her shoulder to see Avery pulling out the tissues three and four at a time.
Bicky settled himself in an armchair as Avery continued sneezing in the kitchen. Neither Bicky nor Kori noticed Gil sitting in the shadows at the top stairs, peering through the banister.
“So, I read about you kids in the newspaper. I understand you’ve invented an amazing new piece of equipment.”
“Actually, we didn’t. My father did.”
“Yes. I’m sorry about your father,” Bicky said with as much emotion as he could muster. Kori nodded, sighed and drew a deep breath. “We don’t know what we’re going to do with it yet.”
Bicky kept the emotion in his voice well-checked, and continued. “Perhaps I’ve come along just in time.”
“In time for what?” Avery walked into the living room holding a box of tissues.
“You done now?” Kori asked. Avery nodded.
“Sorry. It’s like I breathed in something toxic.” He looked directly at Bicky’s impassive mask.
“You sound all stuffy now,” Kori said.
“I feel like someone sprayed caulk up my nose.” Avery said. Gil giggled from his spot on the stairs and covered his mouth. Bicky turned toward the sound, but said nothing.
“So, Mr. Coleman,” Avery said. “I’m sure that as the head of Akanabi Oil you’re acquainted with one David Hartos.
“Yes, I know one David Hartos,” Bicky said, struggling against the dozens of facial muscles tugging valiantly at the corners of his mouth, pulling them toward a full-fledged smile. “He works for me.”
“It was my understanding that he’s currently on sabbatical from the oil industry so technically speaking, he is not working for you at all, but rather, for himself at present.”
“You sound like every lawyer I’ve ever hired.”
Avery held his smile in check with a stern, tight-lipped countenance. “Kori, can I see you in the kitchen for a minute?” Kori gave her brother a weird look, but rose to go.
“Excuse us, Mr. Coleman,” Avery said. “We’ll be back shortly.
As soon as Avery and Kori had left, Bicky smiled, his first genuine, uncoached smile in years.
Avery pulled Kori out the back door onto the deck, leaving the door ajar.
“What is wrong with you?” Kori asked. “First the gnarly sneezing and now you’re being so rude. This guy’s the head of a big oil company. He probably wants to buy the TDU and if that’s the case, I say good riddance for all the trouble it’s caused.”
“What about Hart? We told him we’d work with him.”
“You didn’t sign anything, did you?”
“Listen to you!”
“No, listen to you, Mr. Lawyer. If you didn’t sign anything, where’s your obligation?
“We made a deal to work with him, me and Gil. Gil thinks the guy walks on water. And I think we can trust him. He’s out looking for financing, right now. I’m not going to call him up and tell him the deal’s off.”
“Spare me the drama.”
“So am I. If the TDU is so fantastic, investors will be pounding down our door.”
“Well it looks like that parade might have just started.” Avery poked his head in the door and strained his ear toward the living room. He could hear nothing.
“He might be about to offer us some serious money, Avery. And I think we should take it. Wouldn’t it be nice to be out of debt for a change? I mean, this morning…”
“We can’t do that, Kori. I don’t like him. And I don’t trust him.”
“You don’t even know him.”
“I know I’m having an allergic reaction to him.”
Kori rolled her eyes. “That is the dumbest thing I ever heard. You’re not going to take his money because of a few sneezes?”
“Give me one good reason why we shouldn’t work with him, Avery.”
“Dad.” Avery said. “Dad would never sell out.”
Kori stared at her brother and when she spoke, her voice was quiet, reluctant. “Well, Dad isn’t here to provide for us anymore, Avery. And we need to pay our bills and keep food on the table and all those other things that parents do for their kids, but we now have to do for ourselves.” Kori turned to go inside, but Avery grabbed her wrist.
Avery drew a deep breath. “All right. We’ll listen to what he has to say. But no decisions until we talk to Hart. Okay?”
“All right.” She sighed, squeezing Avery’s arm. “Let’s get back in there.”
Gil strolled down the steps with Max. Bicky heard them coming, but acted surprised when they entered the room. Holding Max by the collar, Gil took a seat on the couch and stared at Bicky until even the unflappable Coleman became a bit unhinged.
“What?” Bicky finally said.
“What?” Gil replied.
“What are you looking at?”
“What are you looking at?”
“I asked you first.”
“I asked you first.”
“Is this some kind of joke?” Bicky shifted in his chair, annoyed.
“Is this some kind of joke?”
“You’re not one of those idiot savants, are you?”
“You’re not one of those…”
“Oh shut up, already. I get the game.” Bicky huffed as if the very idea was ridiculous to him. “My own daughter used to play it all the time. I didn’t like it then and I…”
“What happened to your hand?” Bicky covered his bandaged hand with his free hand in response.
“What are you doing here?” Gil asked.
Bicky looked Gil over, the piercing, intelligent eyes, the purposeful posture, the fact that he had his own hand resting lightly on the neck of a seventy-five pound ferocious looking dog with a mean set of teeth. In that instant he knew this child, for that was what he was, could not be trifled with, and moreover that it was more than intellect working in that compact, graceful body. He decided instantly, subconsciously, that truth was the best course of action.
“Well, I’m not here to help, obviously. I’m a businessman and businessmen do not become successful by helping,” Bicky said. True confessions.
Gil nodded, a beneficent king waiting for his subject to continue.
“But I’m not here to steal anything from you either. I’m willing to pay the fair market value for the product you’ve invented, and should that not be possible given the scope and reach of the product, then I’m willing to bring you in as a partner, to a limited extent, of course, given that I’m taking all the financial risks, and to make sure your family receives money from the development and sale of this product for years to come. You’ll never have to worry about money again, that’s for sure.”
“I’m ten. I don’t worry about money now. That’s for Kori and Avery to worry about.”
“Well, what do I have that would interest you? I’m sure there’s something I can give you to make this deal not just acceptable, but attractive to you.”
Gil shook his head slowly back and forth. “We don’t need you. We have Hart.”
Bicky smiled slightly, relishing the delivery of this news. “Hart works for me.”
“I know that. But he’s not doing this with you. He’s doing this with us.”
“Hart can’t give you what I can give you.”
“He can get as much money as we need to build a factory.”
“Hart’s a very rich man and I’m sure he’ll be true to his word. But have you thought about the expense of not only developing your machine, but building, staffing and maintaining an oil refinery? It’s not just the cost, but the labor that’s very intensive. The insurance alone on a facility like that’ll kill you. I can offer you a fully functional, completely operational facility. Already built and running and only a scant thirty or so miles from here.”
“We already have one in the backyard,” Gil said.
Bicky’s raised his eyebrows, but he didn’t say anything.
“They’re not hard to make if you know what you’re doing.”
“Surely you don’t think you’re going to build something of this magnitude in your backyard?”
“I told you. I’m only ten. That part’s up to Avery.” As if on cue, the backdoor slammed and Bicky heard strangled whispers and two sets of footsteps approaching. And given the four seconds he’d spent in the presence of the sixteen-year old – for Chrissakes was everyone in this family a prodigy? – Bicky knew he needed to make his move now or lose his chance forever.
“The plant will be a monument to your father. I’ll even rename the refinery after him. By the time we’re finished, not just the U.S., but all the world will know how great he was. We can even market some of his other inventions. I mean, he didn’t create something like this in a vacuum. The man was obviously a genius.” Bicky paused for effect. “Of course, I’ll leave it up to you whether you’d like to pursue those other avenues.”
“Hey, Gil,” Avery said, coming into the room. “I see you’ve met Mr. Coleman. He…”
“He’s taking us on a tour of his oil refinery this morning,” Gil said, before turning to Kori. “Do we have any pop tarts? Me and Max are starving.”
“Ah. Okay,” Bicky said. “Shall we take breakfast on the road?”
to be continued. . .
read what came before
All relationships begin with the Self. Given that the quest to find The One is a powerful lure, it’s also great incentive to get on with homework!
Naturally, we endorse the book.
The will had been on file in Kitty’s attorney’s office for years and Bicky had full knowledge of it. He was well aware of the provisions it contained and had pestered Kitty relentlessly after Sonia’s death for her to update the document. Otherwise, he’d argued, the disposition of more than a fortune would be left to the vagaries of Sonia’s will. Bicky was reasonably sure that Sonia’s will left everything to Hart, but he saw no reason to take the chance. Besides, Hart wasn’t blood, and the events of the last few weeks had born that out in crystalline form. Unfortunately for Bicky, Kitty had ignored him, or so he thought, and soon after became sick and since his suggestions angered her so, he ultimately let the whole matter drop. At the time Bicky reasoned that with a little finagling he could fund a buyout of PGWI’s stock using his own assets as collateral and thereby retain ultimate control of Akanabi. But now? The stakes were a good deal higher and though he hated to admit it, there may not be a way to do this deal.
Bicky’s father, that bastard, had set it up so Sonia and Kitty, operating together, could overrule Bicky’s business decisions. Knowing Bicky’s relationship with his wife and what the senior Coleman perceived to be Bicky’s indifference toward his daughter, Bicky’s father made it impossible for him to leave his wife and child without risking the loss of everything. For some reason, Sonia and Kitty never took advantage of their monopoly. Even more amazing, they stayed with him all those years when, had the tables been turned, Bicky would have taken his fifty-one percent and left.
Bicky ran a hand over his stubbled chin and rubbed his bloodshot eyes. The codicil was executed three months after Sonia died. Since Kitty possessed all her faculties up until the end, it would be difficult to argue that Jerry had put her up to it.
“Christ, there’s got to be a way around this mess,” he said out loud. He punched the intercom for Phyllis.
“Can you come here, please?”
“Certainly.” Phyllis was in the door in moments. “What’s up?”
“I don’t know.” He eyed Phyllis for a moment. “I think I need help.” Bicky slumped back in his seat looking older than Methuselah.
“Do you want me to call your doctor.”
“No. Not that kind of help.” Bicky dropped his head to his hands and rubbed his face. His voice cracked. “I just need a friend, is all.”
“Do you have any friends?” Phyllis asked, smiling. Bicky didn’t return the gesture.
“Do you know anything about Kitty and Jerry?”
“You mean, for instance, Kitty was your wife and Jerry has worked for you for about as long as I’ve worked for you, but now he doesn’t?”
“How did you know?” Bicky asked. His face had assumed its mask-like qualities.
Phyllis’s eyes grew wide, but if she had a quip, she kept it to herself, limiting her retort to the obvious. “With so much cabling in this place word travels fast.”
Bicky tossed a copy of Kitty’s will across the desk. “Did you already read this?”
Phyllis stepped forward, reviewed it quickly, and nodded. It was her turn to put on the mask.
“Did you know?” Bicky asked.
“That they were having an affair?”
“Well, if the question is have I ever see them hiding behind the water cooler, locked in an embrace, then no, I didn’t.”
“C’mon, Phyllis. Cut the sarcasm,” Bicky replied.
“What’s it matter now, Bicky? Kitty’s gone. What would you do with the information?” Phyllis picked at a loose thread on her suit jacket.
“I just want to know, is all.”
“Well, you’re going to have to draw your own conclusions.” She looked at him with an expression that relayed it to be her final word on the matter and stood to go.
“I just want your opinion.” There was a remote quality to his voice, as if he were speaking into a fierce wind that blew all around him, sending his words to far off places. “Do you know you are the only person in my entire life that’s never judged me,” Bicky said. “Or at least if you did, you kept it to yourself. If I’ve never thanked you before, I’m doing so now.” The words had the desired effect. Phyllis sat down.
“Why did you torture her so much?”
Bicky responded in a voice that belied years of unrequited love. “Because she didn’t love me. And I was too proud to show her why she should. And now, well, all that crap about it being too late would be appropriate here.” Bicky coughed and rubbed his eyes dry. When he spoke again, his voice was level.
“This could ruin me, you know. A hostile take-over. I’ve not made many friends in this industry. I’d be out on my ass faster than stink. And if Jerry and Hart got together….”
“Ah, the truth comes out,” Phyllis said. “Maybe it’s time to take early retirement.” The sarcasm was notably absent.
“Maybe. Just let go of it all.” He traced his finger over the beautiful mahogany desktop. “That’s been my problem all along, you know. Ever since my mother died, I spent my life with my arms wrapped tight around everything I owned, squeezing the air out of it. Even my own wife.”
Phyllis reached across the desk and patted Bicky’s hand.
“I know I wasted a lot of time. Time I can’t get back.” He pulled his hand free and walked to the window. He stared out across Houston’s skyline for several minutes before continuing. “But what am I supposed to do? Roll over and die? Do you really think anyone will remember me?” Bicky slumped back in his chair looking frail and pathetic. Phyllis spoke softly, with tenderness.
“You have resources. Plenty of friends. People with fat checkbooks.”
“Is that supposed to make me feel better?” Bicky snapped. Phyllis recoiled as if stung, all the goodwill of the last moments evaporating with a word.
Phyllis stood up and said in ice blue tones: “It’s just an observation.”
“Yeah, well keep your observations to yourself.” Phyllis focused on the back of Bicky’s head.
“I could fight this for years, but he’s still going to win. He’ll bring on witness after witness that says my wife was of sound mind and body when she executed that codicil. Witnesses that will say I was a lousy husband. Hundreds of pages of briefs will be filed and they’ll have life expectancy charts and police testimony and psychological exams. My life will be on complete display for the gossip columnist and at the end of the day, he still wins.”
Bicky rested his forehead against the cool glass and stood as if cast in bronze.
“Well if you have nothing else to say, I have something,” Phyllis said. Bicky didn’t bother to turn around. “I’m tendering my resignation. As of today. I’m giving you two weeks notice.”
Bicky was stricken, a look Phyllis couldn’t see. “Why?” he croaked.
The standard line. “I want to spend more time with my family.”
He wanted to say to say something to change her mind, tell a joke, rehash the past, anything, but words had abandoned him. He felt the weight of Phyllis’ stare, but the profundity of his misfortunes rooted him to the spot: he couldn’t even turn around. Finally, Phyllis left.
And for the first time in over thirty years, Bicky Coleman was suddenly and completely alone.
Phyllis sat in front of the computer reading her email when Jerry walked into the office, looking drawn. She smiled, stood and walked around to the front of her desk. They hugged, a bit stiff, like old friends who had served in the same war, but hadn’t seen each other since experiencing all the pain and suffering they had learned to forget. When they pulled away, they both looked sad. Jerry nodded toward “the big door,” but Phyllis shook her head.
Jerry walked back out into the hall and returned with a cardboard box filled with keys. “My instructions were to leave these with you.” He set the box on the desk and backed away as if it were something extremely fragile. “Guess that’s it. Thirty years of loyal service,” Jerry said in a voice redolent with sarcasm. He laughed, a dry mirthless sound emanating from his throat, and stared at the box to see if some part of those years would replay before him.
Phyllis touched him on the shoulder and he stared at her so intently she thought she might catch fire. She bristled and looked away, breaking the connection. Jerry laughed, at first a small chuckle which grew into a giggle and then a full-fledged belly laugh, ultimately careening into complete hysteria. Phyllis stared at him in mute horror, then turned and walked to the other side of her desk, her hand on the hidden button underneath. Jerry’s laughter died down until he, too, became silent. If he noticed Phyllis’ hand on the button, he didn’t say.
“I guess you heard about Kitty’s will,” he asked.
“I didn’t ask her to do that, you know. I never asked her for anything. Except to just leave with me.” Jerry stared at his well-manicured nails, his tone flat and even. “She couldn’t do it. Never could bring herself to leave that son-of-a-bitch. Now she’s gone and left us both.” He looked up at Phyllis without emotion.
“I’m sorry for you.”
“You think I was wrong, don’t you? To love her like that.”
“It’s not for me to say, Jerry. Everybody has to live by the dictates of their own conscience. Otherwise you’re not living, just going through the motions. But since you asked, no, I don’t think you were wrong. Love is never wrong.”
“Maybe if I would have tried harder to convince her.” Jerry shook his head. “It was always because of Sonia, you know. That she would never leave. She didn’t want Sonia to lose out on what Kitty thought was rightfully hers and if the truth came out that…” Jerry stopped, his mouth still open, the unspoken words still on his lips.
“Nothing.” Jerry dropped into a chair as if he were suddenly very tired. “Right now it feels as if my whole life’s been one giant lie.”
“So make it right.”
Jerry nodded, leaving Phyllis with the impression that the words were reaching him only after covering a great distance.
“How do I do that?” he finally said.
Phyllis shrugged. She’d said her peace.
After a minute, Jerry turned to stare at Bicky’s door. “You’re right.” He sighed and heaved himself up. The young, virile man was gone. An old, regretful man had taken his place.
“Always being an ally in the war against tyranny.”
Hours later, Bicky sat in front of the fire, stone-drunk. He paced the room like a caged animal, wringing his hands in despair. He wailed, a deep, mournful, bellowing sound that started in the pit of his stomach and ascended, higher and higher, until it reached a screeching pitch that even he couldn’t abide. He fell to the floor, covering his own ears, thrashing and hissing at the unseen demons that surrounded him, a man possessed. He banged his head on the floor, a rapid succession of syncopated rhythm. He pulled his body in close and fell over on his side into the fetal position, wrapped his arms around his knees and began to rock like a baby. He cried, using the tears he’d stockpiled for the last thirty years, until he’d drained enough of the agony from his body that he no longer felt like throwing up. Hopelessness was quick to fill the void, however, and he succumbed to the fresh onslaught.
When his body grew tired, he sat up, dried his eyes and cast an appraising glance around a room that for years had been shrouded in egotism and greed. He walked over to the side table and picked up a framed photograph of himself and Kitty on their honeymoon. The tears were back and he was about to scratch them out with his own fingers, but rubbed his eyes sharply instead, and with so much pressure that he experienced a stab of pain, causing him to stumble backwards. He shook his head to clear his vision and Hatred, Anger’s nimble first cousin, flew in, replacing the light. He screamed, raised the photo above his head and threw the picture into the fire. The glass in the metal frame shattered when it landed. Bicky stared after it, momentarily stunned, ready to accuse the perpetrator.
“Aaaaahhhhh,” he yelled, and ran to the fire. The edges of the photograph had begun to singe and without thinking, Bicky reached into the fire with his bare hand, his skin melding with the hot metal. He screamed again, this time from the burns, but he wouldn’t let go of her, never let go . The skin on his fingers began to melt so he dropped the frame. It clattered as it landed on the hardwood floor. He grabbed a pillow from the couch and blotted at the photo. His raw hand had already started to blister. He looked at the appendage as if it belonged to someone else, shook it twice then knelt down, hovering over the photo. He pushed aside the remaining pieces of broken glass with a pen from his pocket and pried the picture free, shoving the ruined frame away with his good hand. He knelt down on the floor, his chest to his legs and leaned in to kiss Kitty’s face. He traced her body with his good fingers, the lovely creme taffeta dress flowing around her like a breeze, and kissed her now browned visage before starting to cry again.
At his apartment, Jerry packed one suitcase with winter clothes and a second one with shorts, T-shirts, suntan lotion and other summer weather sundries. He walked over to the bookshelf and took down a dozen of his favorite titles along with a few he hadn’t read yet and tossed them in the “warm” suitcase. He glanced around the room. Other than the floor-to-ceiling book case that lined one entire wall of his bedroom, there was nothing in this room he wanted.
He sat down on the bed and called Kitty’s lawyer giving him instructions to sell half the Akanabi stock Kitty had left him once the will was probated and to put that money in trust that named PGWI as the recipient. The fund was to be placed under the direction of David C. Hartos with specific instructions to invest the money in either a private or publicly traded company as long as Hart had an affiliation with it. Each year, the dividends earned on such a phenomenal amount of money were to be turned over to PGWI, used to drill wells and build wastewater treatment plants in developing countries all in memory of Kitty Coleman and Jerry Dixon. Should the principal devalue in any given year, the dividend was to be reinvested, thus assuring the principal remained intact.
What to do with the rest of the Akanabi stock was the more difficult question and one he’d have to deal with Bicky directly on. For now he’d instructed the lawyer to hold the stock certificates and gave him power of attorney so Jerry could access the revenue, should it be necessary, from anywhere in the world. Jerry himself had no use for the money. He’d lived a Spartan existence all these years and saved a ton of his own money, because if nothing else, Bicky paid well. And other than the gobs of money he spent on books, Jerry had no real hobbies. For him to get this kind of money now in his life meant nothing. Had he had it when she was alive, well, it may have made a difference. He shook his head. It didn’t help to think about it.
He placed two firearms in the “cool” suitcase. He’d have to notify airport security and show them his permit. Likely it would be no problem as long as the guns were stowed in the cargo hold. He snapped the suitcases shut. Leather bound and heavy, they once belonged to his father. He knew today’s models didn’t take much in the way of coordination to carry and many came on wheels, but he like the weight of them, the feel of the strength in his arms as he hefted them off the bed. He set one down, took a last look around the room, shut the light and headed out to put things right.
to be continued. . .
start with this and move on