House of Sleep Part 3
Maggie glances at the painted door that leads to the chapel. A golden finch hangs from a green stem, and the daisy dangles over the finches head. Life once was filled with love and artistic dreams. Shiny, sunlight illuminates the piece. Zander was a fabulous artist.
Black mold covers the west wall. Sunlight bleeds through the stained glass windows. And the stuffed horse lays on the pew. Maggie picks up the stuffed horse, the black mane is damp with the scent of mildew, the fur matted, and the stuffing pokes through a tiny whole.
Madge was her favorite toy when she was small girl. She carried it everywhere with her. On her third birthday, it was a gift given to her from her father.
Madge is in terrible condition, she tossed it to her side. Tears stream down her face. Her home is in shambles and if what Mr. Jackson Winston says is true, this is no long her residence.
Maggie holds her cross in her hands, but the chapel itself is a reminder that God can’t save materialism.
Footsteps startle her. She turns around and Edwin greets her with a hug. “Hello dear.” He kisses her on the cheek. “What are the tears about?” He said. He wipes them from her face.
“Maggie hugs him tight. “Great to see you. I was expecting you hours ago.” She said. “I’m glad your flight was safe.” She straightens up her dress, and brushes back her hair with her hands. “Sorry, I took a short bath earlier, and didn’t have time too, look appropriate.”
Edwin smiles, holds her face in his hands, and kisses her lips. “You’re always beautiful.” He said. He wraps her arms around her and nudges her to follow him. “Come with me.”
Mr. Jackson Winston waits for them out in the hallway.
“Jackson, Hello.” He flips off his cowboy hat to greet Maggie and Edwin.
Maggie seems distracted as they pass the stuff owl in the hallway that stares back her way. She always hated live animals stuffed, and displayed. Her father was just strange that way.
“Maggie, you met Jackson?” Edwin said. He pulls on his tie to straighten it, and unbuttons his suit coat.
Maggie sits down in the living room on the velvet sofa. She grabs one of the pillows and slaps the dust out of the burgundy one. “Why yes, I met Jackson earlier. Funny you never mentioned him before.” She tosses Jackson the dirty pillow. “You should do a better job of dusting.”
Jackson chuckles with a huge grin. “I have to say, Maggie’s quite the charmer. She doesn’t give a man a break.” He said.
Edwin joins in with a good laugh. “Yes, my wife is probably not happy this place is in shambles. I can’t blame her.” He said.
Maggie slaps Edwin on the knee with one of the other pillows. Dust flies in his face.
Edwin sneezes, and takes out his hanker chief and wipes his nose. He slides it back in his suit pocket. “But she does have a point, you’ve been paid very well all these years by her father. And for some reason you let the place go to hell.” He said. “Would you explain what happen here?”
“Edwin, I do apologize. I suppose this place just isn’t my cup of tea. I don’t have the servants to keep it up like Maggie’s father.” He said.
Jackson opens up his bottle of whiskey and drinks. He sits back in the matching velvet chair across from Edwin and Maggie. His legs cross, his cow boy boots point up, and he spreads out his arms.
Maggie walks over to the Maple cabinet. Reaches for the porcelain rose vase. Opens the cap and looks inside. Her brother’s toy soldier is still inside. She puts it in her pocket. She looks at the old photographs through the window of the cabinet. All her ancestors peer at her through the glass.
“Now this cabinet has to be worth a lot of dough.” Jackson said. His speech was starting to slur. He slid his fingers over the wood work. “I’m going to have some auctioneers come out here and appraise some of this stuff.” He said.
Maggie kicked Jackson’s leg since he wouldn’t leave the place, and she didn’t like him sitting to close to the cabinet or messing with the figurines.
“This isn’t your property. And there will be no auctioneer. This is my land, my father left it to me in his will.” She said. “This is why we’ve come. To settle his estate. I don’t know who you think you are, but you have no right to be trespassing.” She said.
Jackson stood up and knocked the porcelain horse off the top of the cabinet. “This is my house. I earned it. I took care of your father until the end.
Senile. Your father sat on the sofa there for months, all he could talk about was his precious daughter Maggie. Where were you Maggie?” he said. Jackson paced back and forth in anger and tripped over the dining room chair he placed in the middle of the living room at some point.
Maggie laughed at Jackson lying on the Oriental rug. His cowboy hat came off, and his bloody lip shows how irresponsible he can be.
“Sorry.” She put her hand over her mouth. “I can’t help myself. If you would have things more organized, and keep up the place like your supposed too, you wouldn’t fall over a dining room chair. Dining room chairs don’t belong in the living room.” She said.
Jackson picks up his cowboy hat and his bottle of whiskey. Anger flushes his face. Beads of sweat run from his forehead.
“Something wrong with you, Jackson?” Edwin said. Edwin seems concerned.
Jackson unbuttons the top button close to his neck. His armpits are filled with sweat. “I’m fine. This happens all the time.” He fakes a laugh.
Maggie does notice Jackson seems pale and flush. “Are you sure you’re feeling fine?” she asks.
Jackson passes out in the chair.
“I would say, he’s drunk darling.” Edwin said.
“He has been drinking all day. He served me cinnamon liquor in a wine glass for peats sake.” She said.
“We better just leave him here. What would we do with him?” Edwin said.
Maggie straightened out her dress and checked her hair again in the mirror. “I don’t know. Where did my father find this disgusting man?” She said.
Edwin sighed. Did he really want to get into that discussion? He had it plenty of times with her father. “I think we just better leave him be. Let’s go find a clean room and go to bed.” He said.
Maggie rolled her eyes. “Do you think that is possible?” Look at this nasty place. My father would throw him out in to seconds.” She said.
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