Some pretty impressive items are on display to be auctioned. Among them is none other than a painting by now deceased artist F. Lamar Dollison donated by the family. The crowd gathers around and carefully examines the artwork along with other items of interest to prepare their bids. The money will go into the general building fund towards the purchase of the property.
“These things seem like common household junk!” Geneva detests as she and Quincy peruse the display.
One particular item catches hers and Quincy’s attention. They carefully examine it trying to figure out just what it could possibly be.
“Suppose the person who donated this had a special commodity shop?” Quincy asks aloud.
Geneva squints trying to read the description written underneath. “It’s a Bloo? What’s that?”
“A Bloo? Never heard of it.” Quincy narrows his eyes attempting to make out the small scribble on the paper before deciding to save his face the wrinkles and extract his reading spectacles from his breast pocket. “Let’s see here. A Bloo…” Quincy freezes in amazement. Then he removes his eyeglasses, wipes them down and repositions them on his face.
“Well, do you recognize it?” Geneva asks, still studying the contraption.
“I haven’t the slightest idea what it could be, but some poor soul is willing to pay $8100 for it. It wasn’t a ‘Bloo,’ my dear.” Quincy returns his glasses to his breast pocket. “That’s a bid that reads 8,100 of someone’s hard earned dollars.”
“You can’t be serious!” Geneva takes a step back and re-examines it with added peculiarity.
“I wish I wasn’t.” Quincy just shakes his head in disbelief.
“I know. I can’t figure out exactly what it is either.” Alesandra joins them in marveling at how someone could be willing to pay so much for something that doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense. “I mean, it isn’t much to look at if it’s supposed to be some sort of abstract art sculpture or something. And then, if it has a purpose… well…I just can’t seem to figure out what it could possibly do.” She shrugs. “I hate to sound cliché, but as the saying goes…One man’s trash-“
“Apparently makes him wealthy and someone else a foolish pauper.” Bethany glides past them, smiling. We have quite a few attractive bids for many of the items on display. However, this piece has been the topic of conversation among many for the better part of the night. Bethany looks stunning in a long, flowing evening gown. She is hardly the shell of a woman that was being beaten a few short months ago.
Ms. Wyndham scurries past them and scribbles something on the bidding sheet that corresponds with the artwork donated from the Dollison family.
“I do believe that’s artwork from the young fellow that shot himself, Geneva,” Quincy whispers. He and Geneva inch closer to the bidding sheet, both seeming to have the same idea about checking for the highest price. “My, my. That’s more than I would’ve expected.” Quincy stands back and takes notice of the painting again. “Kind of resembles our old camo gear, but with more color. Certainly wouldn’t pay that much to hang on the wall.”
“It’s strange what people will give their money to,” Geneva chimes in. “I had to work two jobs for a number of years to support myself, and that never amounted to anything remotely close to what someone is willing to spend on… this.”
“Likewise, after the war was over we returned having to scrap for work. None of us have probably seen that kind of money. Nor the families who lost loved ones.” Quincy shakes his head in disdain then ogles the painting once more until he hears quiet sobs from over his shoulder.
Beth notices that Quincy has heard her tears. “I’m sorry. It’s just that he was… we were very close.” She manages a faint smile to lighten the mood. “He’d not ever made that kind of money selling his artwork. This would definitely be a good night.” She gazes as if lost in thought.
“That’s right. You’re the young lady he was there to see that night.” Geneva takes a closer look.
Beth smiles and nods. “Yes. Yes, I was there that night.”
“You poor dear. Tragic,” Geneva makes a failed attempt to console her.
“Nothing tragic about getting rid of someone whose primary form of stress relief is targeting your head with his fists multiple times. I’d say he did you a favor, sweetie.” Maria is slurring, drink in hand. Standing unsteadily. “God be praised! Ding, dong! The dog is dead!” She raises her glass as if to toast then takes a sip.
Beth, Geneva and Quincy are at a loss for words. They stare blankly at her. She takes notice as she is lowering her glass.
“I’m sorry, honey. Did I interrupt your pity party? I thought we were supposed to be having fun? Huh? I didn’t bring any pity with me.” She pretends to look inside her clutch, searching. “Nope. No pity in there,” She slurs with laughter. “But the good thing is that you definitely supplied the F-U-N!” She holds her drink up. “And this is the good stuff, too! A fancy party and no BYOB! Shoot, you can put me up for auction! One bottle of Jack! Sold!” Maria is laughing, drinking in between and getting louder by the gulp.
Quincy and Geneva simultaneously tip away so as not to be an audience for her embarrassment. Bethany signals for Jun, who rushes to her side as soon as she notices. Maria continues to drink and provide a monologue for a disproving audience.
As soon as Jun realizes what’s happening, she intervenes. “You’re the lady from-“
“Right now, I’m Mrs. Jack Daniels,” Maria retorts, seeming bothered by Juniper’s introduction.
“Is there somebody I can call for you?” Juniper attempts to remove the glass from Maria’s hand.
“Lady, you have no idea what to call me, but you’d better turn loose my drink!” As Maria attempts to retain hold of the glass it slips from her grip and bolts through the air piercing the canvas, ruining it. There is a hush that falls over the entire room. Only the sound of the jazz band playing in the background can be heard, uninterrupted because they are oblivious to what’s happening just a few yards away.
“Look at that. Now if you think I’m going to pay for this you’ve got another thought coming. I want my drink back.”
Juniper glares at her.
“Humph, is this how you treat guests? Was I only invited to this fancy party just to be treated as if I’m unwelcomed? Or am I your entertainment for the evening? Cause in either instance, I ain’t been paid!” Maria looks around the room at all the eyes staring back at her. “That’s ok. I’ll just go get my own drink then.” She turns toward the bar and takes two steps before collapsing to the floor.