The Realtor’s Tale

“Local legend has it, there are ghosts in the fields surrounding this particular stately old manor.” Tom, our realtor interjected, looking expectantly over the half lenses of his readers as he busied himself with affixing sticky yellow X’s in all the appropriate places in the large stack of closing documents.

“I only waited until now to mention it, because, personally, I don’t put much stock in local legends. And frankly,” he raised his eyebrows and gazed from myself, to my wife, and then back at me again, “an intelligent couple like yourselves? Well I just wouldn’t imagine you would either.” 

When neither my wife nor myself was forthcoming with a much desired response, Tom chuckled anxiously, swiped a few beads of nervous sweat from his brow, and continued. “It seems the second owners of the house, the Brentwhistles,  came to acquire the property under a rather shady set of circumstances.” 

Sensing himself too far adrift to discontinue the tale, Tom pushed on. “Josiah Brentwhistle, a man of notably dubious character in these parts, is said to have loaned the original owner, Jack Bently, a modest sum of money which when the time came for repayment, Jack, unfortunately, found himself without.”

“Instead of face Brentwhistle, and take his proper comeuppance, which rumor had it, he would have had every reason to believe would include physical violence, Jack arranged to meet with Brentwhistle, and then conveniently was not at home when Brentwhistle arrived, leaving his beautiful wife Jenny to deliver the news.”

At this point, Tom leaned forward, coming to rest on his elbows before continuing. “Brentwhistle, reputably quite a man with the ladies, came directly to the aid of Jack’s visibly distraught wife. She evidently made no objections to his comforts, and well, as they say, one thing led to another.”

“This is where it gets tricky. Legend has it, Jack came home, found the two of them together, and following a brief scuffle, ended up at the wrong end of Brentwhistle’s revolver. The only problem with that theory is, try as they may, no one has ever located the body.”

“But the official story, the one recorded by the county, the one Brentwhistle, and Jack’s then wife, who incidentally eventually became Mrs. Brentwhistle told, was upon finding them together, the man, Jack, sniffed the air, then, without hurrying, he began to walk up the hill. Never to be seen again.”

This story, although written in 50 word incriments is much longer than the 250 word limit set by the creators of the 50 word Thursday prompt, but what can I say? I’m submitting it anyway.

In addition to including the literary quote, “The man Jack sniffed the air. Then, without hurrying, he began to walk up the hill.” – From Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book provided by 50 word Thursday, I have also worked in, the OLWG #34 single phrasal prompt, ‘ghosts in the field’, and Fandango’s One Word Challenge, ‘comeuppance’ for good measure.

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