Wednesday, April 15, 2020

WEP Challenge: Rich People

“I do believe discovering how the thieves entered the premises is your job, Officer. Not mine.”

Janine clamped down on her back teeth to keep the retort in. She’d already frozen her eyeballs into place so she wouldn’t roll them.

Rich people.

“The vase was right there on the hallway table. Now it is not. I expect you to retrieve it and arrest those responsible for this invasion.”

There was no evidence that a vase had ever stood on the table but Janine doubted a dust mite would dare to rest on a surface owned by Mrs. Eleanor Carrington.

“Do you have a picture of the vase?”

One eyebrow tried to shoot up, but Janine figured the Botox treatments had done their job too well. Mrs. Carrington managed imperiousness without it.

“It is an art piece. It is to be enjoyed, not photographed.”

Okay. “Please describe it for me.”

“It is handcrafted. Baccarat.” She paused, but when Janine didn’t respond she shook her head slightly and continued. “Approximately ten inches high. Etched crystal. With a matching lid. A unique piece.”

“And the value?”

“Approximately thirty-five thousand.”

Janine’s pen slipped out of her hand and she hurriedly retrieved it from the tile floor. At least it hadn’t made a mark or a dent. Who knew what the flooring would cost to fix?

A man wearing a severe black suit and brilliant white shirt entered the hallway.

“Excuse me for interrupting, Mrs. Carrington, but the school is calling.”

The man handed her a phone, executed a small bow and left.

“I must take this. My grandson is staying with me while his parents are travelling. Excuse me.”

Janine glanced around the hallway as the older woman walked away and spoke quietly into the phone. Janine couldn’t even imagine how a child would survive in this home. She was terrified of brushing up against the walls in case she caused damage. Not exactly a vacation for a kid.

“Thank you. I will be there shortly.”

Mrs. Carrington lowered the phone to the spot where the vase had rested. When she looked up, there was a rosy tint to her cheeks.

She pressed her lips together tightly, then spoke. “I owe you an apology, Officer.” She pressed her lips together again. Apparently apologizing wasn’t something she was used to doing.

When Janine started to respond, Mrs. Carrington held up a perfectly manicured hand loaded with rings that cost more than Janine made in a decade.

“It appears,” another lip press. “It appears that I was mistaken.” This time her lips twitched.

“My grandson had Show and Tell today.”

Uh oh.

“He was upset that he’d left his bug bungalow at home.” Mrs. Carrington shuddered and then her lips quirked again. “He decided that the pretty glass cup with the lid would be a perfect replacement.”

This time the woman let out a laugh.

“My vase wasn’t stolen. It is in Noah’s school bag filled with the spiders he collected at recess. Spiders!”

Janine goggled as the woman laughed until tears filled her eyes and she put a hand to her pearls.

“I’m sorry to have wasted your time but now I need find a suitable container for Noah and retrieve my vase.”

Janine grinned as she left Mrs. Eleanor Carrington to find her new bug bungalow.

Rich people.

***

The above story is part of the WEP Challenge. The link will take you a slew of stories based on the prompt Antique Vase. These stories are always worth taking the time to read!!

There's still time to register and add your own story to the challenge!

How about you? Any bug collectors in our midst? Anyone ever bring anything interesting to Show and Tell?



54 comments:

  1. Hi,
    You have done a great job of characterising the selfish woman. Her snobbery comes across very well.
    Good story.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat Garcia

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  2. I loved it. A great ending that I didn't see coming.

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  3. Such a fun twist at the end. It made me laugh. Thanks for a great story.

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    1. Thanks, Natalie - after my last few SF stories, it was time for something different!

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  4. Quite rich narration of Rich people. Awesome.
    Sanhita.

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  5. That was funny. At least she escaped without touching anything.

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    1. Thanks, Alex - I'm sure Janine was as glad to escape as I would have been!

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  6. A fun read! I was once at a party and actually having a pretty interesting, engaged conversation with another guest when the owner of the house walked up to me, interrupted me mid-sentence, and let me know, "I paid sixty thousand dollars for the carpet under your feet." I really don't remember anything else about the party.
    Thanks for the post!

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    1. Thanks Karuna! I can't even imagine people like that! What kind of person announces that at a party????

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  7. Huge smiles. I warmed to Mrs Carrington so much more than I expected - particularly when she laughed until she cried. I suspect her grandson will enjoy his visit - nearly as much as she does.

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    1. I hope so!!! I think he's been good for her!

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  8. HAha Jemi. Rich people indeed. At least Mrs Carrington found it within herself to apologize to the police. That would have cost her. A darkly humorous piece for the prompt. Thank you for participating, Jemi!

    Hope all goes well with your sales!

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    1. Thanks, Denise!
      Sales had a good little rush, but that has seriously trickled off. I'll keep working at it :)

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  9. I sometimes wonder if the 'rich people' act the way they do because they don't know any better. LOL Her laughter at the end made it a truly beautiful story! As much as i hate spiders, some truly do deserve such a fancy bungalow! :)

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    1. I agree - a lot is decided by what lifestyle we're born into and grow up with! I'm glad she was able to laugh about it too!

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  10. Oh, wonderful! I love that the rich lady has a sense of humor after all!

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    1. Me too! It was too easy to keep the stereotype going! :)

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  11. Hi Jemi - you could definitely add to this tale - loved it ... all the snobbery and hoi polloi: mix and match ... totally fun story about a grandmother and kid ... excellent - take care - Hilary

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    1. Thanks Hilary - grandkids do soften even the harshest of people! :)

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  12. This was a fun read. The story unfurled slowly and I loved the way you characterised the rich and snooty woman who wasn't a cliche. She did have a sense of humour after all.

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    1. Thanks Kalpana - it would have been too easy to keep her a cliche!

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  13. That was funny. Nice.
    I used to collect bugs when I was younger, but then discovered roaches and decided to give it up. To this day, I don't mind spiders because I know they eat the other bugs.

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    1. I don't mind spiders at all either. The kids at school always get real surprised when I capture the spiders and take them outside instead of squashing them!

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  14. This seems exactly like something a kid would do. When I was younger I would catch almost anything. At least the rich lady apologized and had a good laugh about the whole thing!

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    1. Kids love bugs and spiders! We always have bug weeks with the kindergarten kids ;)

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  15. I guess at least the upper class twit has a sense of humor hidden beneath the polished veneer.
    I do shudder at the idea of a vase full of spiders.

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    1. I actually don't mind spiders at all, but they are odd little guys aren't they?

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  16. I really enjoyed this, Jemi. I think we all know a "Mrs. Carrington". I found myself pre-judging her as a complete snob, but at the end I was pleased to see that she had a sense of humour.

    I think there's a lot of sterotyping and "othering" on both sides of the divide between rich and poor. I was once invited to the wedding reception of one of my husband's colleagues in a very grand country home with a drive that seemed a mile long. They were not the aspiring suburban rich, but the old money kind with "lord" and "earl" titles. I expected to feel intimidated but they turned out to be such wonderful, down-to-earth people.

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    1. That's so good to hear! Stereotypes are tough to break through and so many of us don't fit the regular molds. Glad your experience was so positive!

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  17. Love the spiders. This is a very good story and I enjoyed reading it

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  18. A well crafted tale, with an unexpectedly humorous ending. Well done, Jemi.

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    1. Thanks Christopher - it was time for something lighter!

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  19. This was great, Jemi! I loved the details, especially the botoxed eyebrows. It was rewarding that in the end, she had a sense of humour and some humility. I guess little boys don't care about the cost of things, only the value (to them!)

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    1. Thanks Donna! I agree - kids see 'value' very differently than adult. And I think they often have a better perspective!

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  20. That's funny. I love how kids see things without pricetags. It's either pretty or it isn't. It can hold a spider or it can't. Love it.

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    1. Thanks! Kids are the best - and their appreciation of Value is so often better than adults!

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  21. A great story and I loved the idea of the precious, expensive vase being filled with spiders. At least she had the grace to apologise to the police.

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    1. Yes - she might be a snob, but she's got an actual heart in there!

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  22. A great insight into two characters from one point of view. I loved that Mrs. C turned out to be a grandmother first and a snobby rich person second. Good job!

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    1. Thanks Lee! Grandkids tend to melt some very tough hearts!

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  23. Ha,ha Jemi, so well brought about. Thanks for this fun tale, uplifting. Take care.

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    1. Thanks Susan - it was time to have a lighter/brighter story!

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  24. My attitude as a kid echoes with Noah's haven for spiders, Jemi. Except I was a boarder so no show-and-tell, but plenty of holiday misuse of antiques for storing toy soldiers. Entertaining and amusing. Kids place a different value on objects.

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    1. And I think they're idea of value is so often better than ours!!

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  25. If she has sense of humour enough to laugh at her grandson's choice of 'bughouse' she can't be all bad. That redeemed her for me at any rate. Absolutely delightful story.

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