AH, TO BE YOUNG AGAIN
Auntie Carol and Lady Lynda were much distressed at the death of the Hohenzollern family, their neighbors. None survived but the oldest child, sweet Emmeline The rest of the family, mother, father, and younger thirteen year old brother died in a most ghastly state of cardiac arrest. They looked like fans at a Lakers game, tongues lolling out of their mouths and veins distended in the neck. Emmeline June did survive but was confined to an asylum for over four months in what appeared to be severe catatonia. She said not a word, just stared wistfully at the TV watching old “Dukes of Hazard” reruns. The only thing is her eyes did not move: she only stared straight ahead.
Auntie Carol exclaimed, “The poor dear,” while Lady Lynda remarked that it was always the innocents who suffered the most in this life.
“The good always die young, “ intoned Auntie Carol.
Lady Lynda said archly, “They were seventy-eight and eighty, hardly young, Carol.”
“You know one always says certain things in situations like this. They’re in a better place now.”
“Apparently you never saw Bosch’s painting, “The Garden of Earthly Delights.” Maybe they’re in the giant egg with legs or inside of the burning building. You never know what they did in life, their sins and so forth, though I think the boy might make it to heaven,” exhorted Lady Lynda.
“Dear, you’re in a state today. Why so wroth?” asked Auntie Carol.
“Seymour has been away for four days and I miss my huggles,” she replied.
“Is that what you call “it”. Herman, Emma always says cunning linguists and laughs his head off. Penal and renal make him laugh too. Any kind of rhyme delights him.”
“Tsk, Tsk, you just said a naughty.”
“Don’t says tisk, tisk, You know I hate onomatopoeia, sinks gurgling, cats meowing, horses neighing. Damnit don’t do it anymore!”
“I never knew you had such an aversion, dear,” said Lady Lynda.
“It’s not even that, really. The police department has hired me to crack the Hohenzollern murders or whom they think is the murderer, Emmeline. This, after four months in the house of looney. It’s obscene. It’s adding insult to injury. The poor dear, she’s heartbroken. And I’m to deceive and grieve her,” said Auntie Carol.
“Dear, you must be really stressed: you’re rhyming again. Only psychos and poets go around rhyming and maybe they’re one in the same. I don’t think I ever met a sane artist. It’s always the grape or heroin. Look at Janis Joplin if you don’t believe me. Or what about William Holden who banged his head on the table in a drunken state and killed himself. There are countless others to numerous to name. It’s a shame.”
“Apparently, you’re also ‘phone ringing, nobody home’. You just rhymed,” said Auntie Carol, who laughed.
“Comparing us is like comparing apples and oranges, dear. Do you think she poisoned them, Carol? On second thought let’s give her a neighborly visit. I’ll bake the bran muffin you make the Arabica coffee and cinnamon buns and we’re all set for a home visit.”
“Une bon idée, ma belle Lynda. And they arrived at her door two hours later like the Brady Bunch mother. “I feel nefarious in that I’m really a spy and the young girl has gone through hell, losing her entire family. Sometimes the plight of a detective is a gruesome thing.”
“That’s what you said about substitute teaching, love,” laughed Lady Lynda.
“No, subbing was like being covered with honey and staked on an ant hill!” chirped Auntie Carol. “Still, to my prior statement. She cremated them immediately and did not announce their demise in the Obits section of the paper. That is odd.”
“Oh, and painting them up and draining all their blood and making little children kiss the dead is a natural thing? Then there’s the drinking and stuffing one’s plate. Is that respectful of the dead. We do all the things they can no longer do just to spite them! There you go gurgle you old stiff and see if you can get a drink. Fat chance,” said Lady Lynda
“When I die I want to be stuffed and put right in front of your door as a lawn ornament. They can do me up like Botticelli’s Venus with the giant shell. No seriously it’s in my will,” said Auntie Carol.
“I adore your noir, dear. Oh, the door’s finally opening. It’s about time for Mr. Smiley Face!” said Lady Lynda.
They were quite taken aback as she was dressed in a red plaid skirt, short sleeved white shirt, with patent baby doll shoes looking like Christina Ricci in the Adams Family. She even had her long black hair braided into two braids and her eyes were a milky blue like a jet stream, and she had skin like white porcelain. Gaunt and disturbed, was she, with dark circles under her eyes.
“Dear may we come in? We’ve brought you some goodies, a little breakfast treat. I’m Auntie Carol and this is Lady Lynda. We want to help anyway we can. Consider us your family now, sweet pea. We’re just a stone’s throw away.
“I thought you were the social worker again. I’m going to cold cock her and not in the good way. See I can be funny. They want to put me with a “good” family like I need guidance,” said Emmeline.
“Dear,’ said Lady Lynda, ”you’re not mature enough to live alone.”
My parents were real old and I used to feed and look after them and my little brother, too. I tell you washing your parent’s private’s is not one of life’s greatest moments. I mean I miss them and all, and dream about them chasing me around the house as the ‘undead’ trying to eat me or bite me, what have you. So I don’t sleep. Because that’s what I get. Or sometimes they try to drag me in a long deep well with no light and I wake up screaming. I ran the house, gave the servants their daily orders and the first time I do something fun and get out of town for two weeks, they all croak on me.”
Dear, tell us how to help you. We’re here to ease your pain.” said Lady Lynda.
“Give me some coffee and cake, and don’t ask me how I feel. I get enough of that with the social worker and the shrink. Give me advice.”
“Dear, you must dress your age, not like a nine year old. And you must bathe more regularly as a lady must be dainty in her personage,” said Auntie Carol. “And a lady must never be tragic like Kim Novack in “By Love Possessed” dying heinously of syphilis. Be Scarlet O’Hara out of ‘Gone With the Wind’. Tomorrow’s another day. Think on the future not the past”, intoned Auntie Carol.
“That’s better. I feel better. Like you’re not trying to mess with my head,” she said. “Can I go shopping at some fancy stores and try a grasshopper at lunch in some fancy hotel. I never did any of those things. Things people take for granted. My parents were too old and sick to let me do those things and all my aunts and uncles are dead.”
“My, dear, you have never lived. Come stay with me and Seymour, for a fort night and learn what a normal family is. You were stifled by all the sickness and servitude. Of course we’ll
go out today and then will have all new things for you. So just walk out with your credit cards and a smile. Lunch at the Hyatt is on us, grasshopper too. You know a grasshopper is creme de menthe and crème, a frothy green fizz.
“I know but not really but I love the color green.”
I have to ask you, young lady, was there any malfeasance?” said Auntie Carol.
“No, it just was their time.”
“And your younger brother?” asked Auntie Carol.
“He was a tool, and didn’t deserve to live. But I didn’t conscript him into heaven.”
“How do you know he would go to heaven?” said Auntie Carol.
“Because he was too stupid to do anything wicked.”
“And You?” asked Auntie Carol
“I’m not stupid.
“You know if there’s any forensic evidence that turns up, they’ll arrest you,” Auntie Carol said.
“Justice will be served and the truth will out. I know that from watching Jerry Springer.”
“You, are one helluva person, young lady,” said Lady Lynda.
And the leaves on the tobacco plant wilted in the noon sun and they looked right at it. Certain parts of the tobacco plant are poisonous resulting in Tachycardia (rapid heart beat) and a comatose state that leads to death. It breaks down and cannot be detected as it is a plant poison.
“You poor dear, you’re an orphan,” said Lady Lynda reaching out to hug her.