A Tale of Two Elas – Ela 6JINH2098

The caretaker woman wasn’t in fact luring me into a murder trailer for the purpose of hacking me to pieces and then and wearing my skin.  It wasn’t a murder-shack at all, it was pretty nice actually, if you like trailers.  I noticed two things quickly, one was the old school big wooden entertainment center that had no TV or anything on it, just stacks of VHS porn.  The other thing was a cluster of certificates and medals and ribbons from the Navy.

“You really like this stuff huh?” I said gesturing at the porn mountain “You know they have it on the internet now.”

She was in the kitchen messing with something “I don’t watch it, I have a sideline selling vintage porn.”

I raised an eyebrow “There’s a market for VHS porn?”

She came back in and handed me a juice glass of something yellow and fruity smelling “Yeah, dudes are fucking weird.”

I tapped my glass to hers “I’ll drink to that.  Where do you find it all?”

She sat down on a loveseat that looked halfway like one of those stupid adult beanbag chairs that cost thousands of dollars “I check the obits.  The eighties and nineties were the golden age of VHS so any time a man in his fifties or sixties croaks they probably have a secret box that the widow discovers after the fact.  Sometimes they’ve thrown it away already by the time I contact them but if not they usually give it to me free of charge, they’re just happy to get rid of it.”

I couldn’t help but shake my head “How much to you normally sell them for?”

“Depends” she said with a little yellow-sludge mustache “usually eighty to a hundred.  I have a couple real freaks that pay more for rare shit for specific performers.”

What she had made for us was some kind of Margarita slushie and it was deliciously kicking my ass “You knew my uncle Pedro then?”

“Nah, just talked to him on the phone a couple of times.  The park was already closed when he hired me to hang around and keep the place from collapsing and chase off the young people.”  Her voice took on a peculiar tone “Did he, uh, every tell you anything about the place?”

I halfway laughed “No, what do you mean?”

She ignored that question and slapped her big paw on a piece of notebook paper next to the loveseat “Well I made a list, a couple of the rides are in good enough condition that you could sell them, I have a couple buyers lined up if you want to do that.  I wouldn’t say no to fifteen percent for the legwork.  Most of the rides are only good for scrap metal, I can get you a decent prize on that stuff, two bucks a pound probably.  You have a hundred and sixty acres here, land prices in this area are in the tank but you can probably get five hundred thousand for that, I wouldn’t wait on selling because the price is going to continue down if you ask me.”

I almost spewed my margarita sludge and dropped the glass simultaneously “Did you say five hundred thousand?!”

She reached down to ruffle the floor “Be careful, this is new carpet.  Yeah, didn’t the lawyer tell you?  All told you might gross seven hundred thousand on this, I don’t know what taxes will take out of that or how inheritance works, you should probably get a guy for that.”  She gave me a weird look “The big question is what you’re going to do with the Dragon’s Breath.”

I halfway leaned against the way “Seven hundred thousand?  How much did Pedro owe on it?”

“Like to a bank?” she asked quizzically “This is all unencumbered as far as I know, no outstanding debts.  Property taxes will be due in a couple of months, I don’t know how that works either if you want to sell.  Did you hear me about the Dragon’s Breath?”

I nodded absently “Yeah, what about it?  Is it falling apart?  Is it a hazard or something?”

She took a long drink “It’s better if I show you tomorrow.”

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