a Sultry Land

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Enid, Gordon, and Denim

Seven-

Upon first sight inside the grand mansion, Meridian thought the owner had bad intentions, lousy goals, no dreams in mind, yet from the outside of it, she’d been wrong. Inside, Meridian thought the owner had nothing to reckon with. The grandeur of the estate was tattered, even kept by a feeble older woman, and Enid Rae, the mistress of the estate, and said to be the Master’s basket case sister-in-law. Meridian was unaware that Miss Enid wards the child of her dead husband’s dead mistress, Dane’s brother Denim Wayne d’Anise 111, died.

On the night Denim died, he was not giving up any more big money to support his former younger mistresses lavish lifestyle which she squandered. Denim set up in a three bedroom house, suiting her fine, and paid the house in full. She owned it, and less than ten years later one evening she too strung out for Denim to catch that way. He had not seen her in a while, and he wouldn’t have bothered her unless he had to. She was too angry for not seeing him in too long. Denim snatched at her arms, and saw her condition, a rotten mess.

She decides, and as if he had ever come as a paying customer, that besides the money he handed her, less than she wanted if he had come to lay with her. Denim understood her plight, and assured her he had not come to lay. Denim fell sick off the booze he drank, lost playing cards, could not drive, and just wanted to sleep a couple hours before he went home to Enid Rae, wanting to present himself more decently. No matter what was between he, and his wife Enid Rae, he wouldn’t go home in that bad condition per trust, and friendship.

When Denim’s old mistress, who had gotten older, asked him to leave, he would not. Denim didn’t feel well, but she tussled with him. His head spun, his ears rang, and he was drunk. Denim slapped her across the face, and didn’t like her attitude, and then teased her about being the driest, and dirtiest whore in town. He shoved her away from him. She fell, and Denim figured he’d paid enough. One hundred dollars for just two hours rest, if even on the back porch, and of the fact, Denim sent her money all the time, and was more interested in her many years ago.

Since she showed her true colors, it was clear that Denim was no longer interested, and she, only interested in Denim’s money. Drunk or not, Denim wasn’t going to support her drug abuse. The hooker’s better looks dramatically decreased into practically skin, and bones, and she was no longer concerned about her appearance, and not even thirty years of age. Her hair was thinning gray, she was wrinkling, and looked at least age forty-five. The woman had become untrustworthy, undependable, dishonest, and of alcohol, and drugs.

She turned into a very unpleasant person, and since Denim returned on the night he died, he, and his friends were all drunk, had a great evening chasing women, gambling, winning, losing, and then later going their separate ways, and calmed down since the new generation of men thugs. Denim had not seen his mistress whore in quite some time, and sent money, even though she gave birth to a child not his, and returned only to drop by since she lived close to where he came from. Denim went there tired, and not looking for any trouble.

When he came, she opened the door, and in a snatch, took the money before he knew she knew who was there. Apparently Denim wasn’t welcome since she sucked her teeth upon eye contact, which caused him to frown. His big figure pushed past the front door, and saw there was no trouble, and his old mistress wanted to argue. She leaned on the wooden breakfront, not the one he bought, and saw she would never change, the breakfront had the few unbroken glasses she started with, a few dishes better kept in the kitchen, and took the money he posed.

She looked strung out, and tried to rush Denim, of all people, out. He disliked her reaction, and sang in good measure, “Trick or treat!” Denim grinned a little, but looked very well, and didn’t mean to piss her off. He thought she’d smile, happy to see him, but she seemed not to care one way or another, or for the money he tossed her out of friendship, because she had not much to offer in the way of any good time, and luckily he wasn’t there for that. She still hadn’t enough money she needed to pay off the drug dealers she owed.

She watched Denim on his way out with his money, because he did not like her attitude towards him, and thought he’d be better off sleeping in his car, but she changed her tune. He was only back in town to return the money he took a few years back whether it was missed or not, used to pay a huge gambling debt, which freed him from death. Denim stayed away to make a better life for himself, and for Enid, and had grown very well in his thoughts. He shut his car off, and stumbled to the hooker’s house on a whim she’d be there since the light was on, and he was tired.

He explained he needed an hour or so, just to lay his head, because he said he was too tired, and drunk to drive any further. Denim didn’t know she expected company late that evening, or that she’d been in trouble, but shewing him off was a no, no. She realized he recognized the way she changed, unfavorably, she was strung out, and also demanded more money for his stay. She had too much on her mind for meager small talk, and Denim couldn’t believe what he’d seen in her, and mentioned it. He was inwardly concerned.

Denim tried to give her a friendly hug, but she backed away, and that’s when he knew he would detest her drug use. She seemed too desperate, and in three years time, became unfeeling, and unlike anyone who he’d picked up years ago. She apparently ran her game that night, knowing Denim never came empty handed, yet by the looks of him, she thought he would sleep too long, and cramp her style. Denim left town because in the past, he owed people. Denim lost money trying to do better for Enid.

Enid, he mistreated while drinking, and his mistress as poorly, if they had truly been his property. A few years back, Denim was at his worst as he painlessly, and shamelessly mistreated women as a no good drunk, and practically blew Enid’s feeble mind. Denim changed with age, after his mother Sheridan, whom he loved above all things, heard of his wrong doings, and chastised Denim’s priorities. He, and Enid Rae Davis-d’Anise came too. They understood each other’s lives, and communicated the entire time Denim had gone.

His going alleviated the pains of him being a good working man employed by the family’s business, but he spent the better part of his money on gambling habits, booze, debts, and other women. His bad habits were too tough to break, his house was worthless. He was used to carousing with the boys from the streets, and to him, nothing else mattered, so his house was a piece of shack. Denim cared nothing about his home, swindled Enid out of a better person to marry, but left her alone, and even stopped teasing her so badly.

As long as Denim could get to the bars in town after he, and crews of men got off work, content as if never marrying, he was able to run through a few thousand dollars gambling any evening, enough to give a hooker money for nothing, or for drinks, squandering, and being unpleasant. Now, Denim passed all of that, and came home to be a better man to his wife, and family. He stood on his last leg with his parents when they were alive, his much younger brother Dane, was the glue that held Denim together, and his parents insane of Denim’s lies.

To his parents, Denim was deceitful, and had a wild behavior growing up, and why his parents had to see less of him in his ungraciousness. Denim liked getting into trouble on the streets, and in town, bitterly tarnishing his father’s name. Denim was drunk and outspoken at such a young age, he’d ruin their dinner parties, resented his parents, and angered them. Denim’s reputation started to ruin his father’s business affairs, started by his great grandfather who grew from agriculture, into a construction company, real estate, a woodsman, and steel house.

Dane, and Denim’s father Denim I, was the youngest of his father’s sons, and was the most responsible of his father’s, and family’s businesses, and inherited the mansion, and all his father’s family business affairs. All Denim’s uncle’s had seen themselves in Denim, and thought he’d be doomed long before. Denim and his father had another row, for Denim bringing disrespectful women of all ages to drink, sleep, smoke, and do drugs in their home during the holidays. The d’Anise entertained a high class of society, and important people.

Denim reacted poorly with family, and close friends of the like, who donate their money each year, to keep the town running. Of Denim, their house keepers would find people days later, deep into the inner rooms of the mansion suites, and make reports, and for days, his parents would not have known.They did not like that Denim would allow other people living with them in their home, especially since Denim was not always there. He, and his friends would be merry off his father’s food, wine, and liquor, but drugs, they brought in themselves.

They mistreated the women they brought, and did not understand when enough was enough. Denim, and his rude friends to women caused the d’Anise to find out, and have a driver take the young women back to their families, or where they needed to go. With the radical ways of Denim, and his friends, his parents hoped no charges would be brought against them. They smoked marijuana, and obviously on a roof, unknowingly stomping around, and were caught out of school again, when Dane was too young to know better.

Denim didn’t care what sort of crowds he harbored. He skipped school, and used his youthful snobbishness against his father in the face of others, insulted his uncles to the fullest, and was all around disrespectful. Rotten to the core, if Denim couldn’t sneak more liquor out of his father’s expensive curio cabinets, he’d leave people in parts of the house unseen, and return with more party goods after his uncles went up into their quarters. Denim brought his drunken friends to invade his parent’s food, liquor cabinets, sleep over, and leave a mess.

The d’Anise disapproved of Denim, bringing crowds to their house, especially since they’d skipped school, and he did not care about his future. At nineteen years of age, Denim was entertaining men much older than him. They were bad influences, who watched him spoil his life, and put up obnoxious fights in front of people who would not budge out of his parent’s house unless he said so. Denim at that age, didn’t care for their safety, so Denim asked his son to leave, God forbid if Dane was hurt. Denim was a tough person.

They owned enough guns in the house to end intruder’s, with his uncles all too happy to pull the trigger. The d’Anise did not want to involve the authorities of Denim they resented, for disrespecting his family, and in as much as it hurt his father, when Denim mocked them, they were through, and Denim had to go before someone became fatally hurt. Unless Denim was summoned, after a few years, he’d show up for the sake of Dane’s birthdays. They loved each other so much, and even with that love, Dane was sheltered from the turmoil Denim caused at home.

Denim was twelve years Dane’s senior, and eventually, their parents saw better changes in Denim, but he still lived his life elsewhere, and should have. Getting back to the Sultry Lands, Denim knew how to behave in public, but by then, Sheridan’s health declined and she became ill, and passed away. Denim worked as a carpenter from the day he left home, until the day he died, and held a good front for his kid brother, and reshaped his ways before Sheridan died. For Dane, Denim went behind his father’s back, to make repairs in, and on the house.

One day, Denim’s uncle’s caught him leaving the manor, and accused him of killing his mother’s spirits, and blamed him for her illness, and untimely death, but his father thought it was too harsh for his older brother’s to speak to his eldest son like that since it was unso. Denim resented his uncles, and for the first time, his father did not blame him. Denim, and Dane meant a lot to each other, and it was four years after Sheridan’s death, and it hurt Dane to know he could not help his brother with that debt he had to leave town for.

He knew that his father would have to sign his money out for him since he was still a minor, and had another year before his dowry became his own, or he would’ve given Denim the money he needed for the debt with no questions asked, because it wasn’t such a large sum to a young millionaire. Dane would ask his father for the money Denim needed, and would have gotten it, but if his father once gingerly asked what he wanted the money for, Dane’s reactions would tell his father that Denim was in trouble again, and Denim wouldn’t have it.

In that split second before two of Denim’s uncles accused him of Sheridan’s death, desperately, Denim asked Dane not to mention it, and convinced Dane he would have his problem under control. Denim thanked Dane, at one of the side doors, and told him he loved him. Leaving quickly, the last thing Denim needed was his uncle Nathan, gloating in his face. Dane kept the situation under his hat, and by then, knew the tensions between his brother and his uncles, yet Uncle Nathan’s hatred of Denim was never a secret, yet Denim managed the key to his father’s draw.

Denim stole bonds for the money he needed to pay off his debts. After being accused, he had no thoughts about how to replace it, but would somehow, and thought about the move he made. The bonds he took, he knew would not be missed, or affect his brother in any way, but hated his uncle Nathan as much as Nathan hated most everything and everyone, so he hid the key in Nathan’s room, and made it look like Nathan stole the money. Denim had no reservations hurting uncle Nathaniel, because his life depended on it.

Denim took only a few bonds he forged in his uncle’s name, and cashed it to pay the men. Those men, and some others were arrested for gambling, and someone mentioned Denim’s name, and the police were looking for him as well, for a robbery one of his buddies committed, and the police were determined to round everyone up, and Denim didn’t want to go to jail, so he fled out of town so that things cooled down, in case his father found out he stole from him, or someone in his set lied about the robbery. All Denim knew was that he had to make that money back up, before his family would suffer his indecency, and things were on lockdown.

Enid worried because she didn’t know what happened to Denim, if he was dead, or alive until days later, he phoned, and explained why he left, and wanted to wait until things blew over, because if the police, or gangsters caught him, they would know where to catch her. Being away, brought him time to make more money, and because a good bet went wrong, the money Denim owed was paid. The rest of the money he made was enough to supply the town with recreational drugs of choice for a long time, and so he funded that route from afar in order to triple the cash, and it worked. Denim would owe no one, for no reason, and would return with ten times the money he received from the bonds.

He stayed in contact with Dane, but when he returned six years later, the town had changed. Denim and his posse became men. Before he left, Denim had a few young guys running drugs, but the big deals he ran from where he went. In a year, his assets quadrupled what he took, which was unmissed. Denim forgot he told the whore all about it, and then went out of town. The drugs she used, and abused, she never knew Denim supplied, hence, where his overflow of money came from. A handful of thugs in the big beautiful place they lived, dealt the drugs she sniffed, shot, or smoked, and owed money, initially, belonged to Denim, and to the Hooker, drugs, and Denim’s money meant more to her than that house he bought her thirteen years ago, when their friendship was better.

She, after his years gone, was jealous, he’d shown himself, looking d’Anise. Denim had money written all over him, and it was long since he acted a childish fool. Denim was a man well over his last straw when he left, presently equal to the task. Miss Halloween wanted a piece of Denim because he looked like money, and she needed it, but her actions made him look at her funny. As long as Enid Rae was alright, he never meant to return empty handed, by then, had various bank accounts of his own, and Denim had a dowry no matter what.

Her attitude to him, no matter what, sucked, and in an hour, she had to come up with the three hundred more dollars she owed drug money, or give herself up to the guy she owed, and his friends. Thugs would do drugs with her anyway, so it was a win, win, for his pleasure, but she’d been strung out with a shit reputation by then, and as cocky as the sort of people she hung with, now Denim didn’t give a damn. He was handsome as hell, groomed well, and super strong, but even with all his brawn, that night, Denim was no match for a fight.

He’d only been back in town for six hours. Two hundred dollars that night, only to sleep alone draped in the parlor room, was no one’s business, but her foul attitude towards Denim, too funky for no reason to cause such defense, and Denim let her know it. She was too out of her mind, and thought Denim should have more money on him than he’d given, but the rest was for Enid. The hooker went to pick his pocket, or try, and all she should have done was ask nicely, and even could have told Denim who she had to see about her debt. Denim was still a name in town.

He knew just about anyone who knew anyone, and especially the chumps her age. She thought about it, and then offered him a shot of Scotch whiskey. Denim accepted the gesture, and they threw back the liquor, and she poured another. Denim again, accepted the drink, and even thought it would make him feel better, but his illness was probably his anxiety to see Enid Rae, and something he ate. Denim asked the woman what she’d been doing with herself, and she ran out of steam, and had no reply. Within a moment, she ran to grasp his wallet on the mantle.

Push came to shove, Denim was no one to snap at, and she knew she angered him! She scratched his face, and it drew blood, and he tried to control her anger towards him, who was now cross, and thought Enid would have to see him that way. The town grew in the past few years, but looking to get over on Denim he thought cheap. Denim told her what he thought, and now she knew, he knew that she’d been strung out. Denim went to leave again, but the mistress whore wanted to seek revenge.

She invited him to stay for what his two-hundred dollar bills were worth, which he’d decline, and she poured him the third shot to drink.

“Boy, you really have turned into a cheap trick,” Denim observed, and said in his piece, “In ten years, when have we fucked?” Looking blindly, and hoping Denim would spare more cash, he took the shot of Scotch, and drank as if no less than ten minutes ago, the mistress she had not assaulted, him. Halloween still hoped he would not stay long, but needed the money she owed.

She needed money to buy drugs too, certainly who she owed would string her out. She had nothing but Denim’s two hundred dollars, and he spent only fifteen minutes, and already she had the jitters. Her expected company was coming for the money she owed, her services, or possibly her life, and no matter what, realizing what she’d just done to Denim, and knew she wouldn’t get any more money out of him that night, so she threatened him, which certainly had not done her well. Denim used to keep her refrigerator, food cabinets, and bar full.

Her money was hers to spend, and he used to protect her from harm, but she went behind his back to do any drugs she could muster. Now, she hadn’t realized all the good he’d done for her all those years, and left her plenty of money before he had to leave. The woman had no thoughts about the money he sent while he was gone either, and Denim became drunker, and finally sleepier, and sluggish even, and then she mentioned the deeds he stole, to piss him off. Pissed off and drunk, Denim took that other shot of booze, and went to leave her premises.

He thought of Enid, and would have nothing more to do with Halloween, and that after all, he could sleep his high off in his nice car, since Denim was in no shape to put her straight. He tried to converse with her on his way out, but fraught, she plucked, and he tried to shuck her off plainly, but she persisted loudly, and Denim didn’t like it.

“Oh, you’re leaving now are you?”

“Oh. Why ask? If your kid needs anything, I could come back tomorrow.”

“No,” she replied. Denim was suspicious, and she acted dubiously.

“I just thought you might take off with the rest of the money you stacked, and stashed from those deeds you stole from your family.” Her words bit. She was vindictive, and Denim did not like hearing her bringing up how he took that money back then.

“I think you might run off again, but this time you’re taking me with you,” she said. Denim had no intentions for her, but for the health of the child she bore, and never sees. At that point, Denim wanted rid of her, just as their friendship had gone.

Denim only mentioned the deeds in passing a while back when they were still friends, and unbelievable to see that all the money Denim sent her while he was away went up her nose, and into her veins, which he would have forgiven, and forgotten, but her greed was another beast. She held his sins over his head, continued to plug him, and mouthed off. Denim’s head was suddenly in a haze, and he felt no better.

“I’m tempted to visit that wife of yours, find out where you went, and where you think you’re going,” she said. To ever have mentioned his wife, made Denim furious, and he did not like her tone of voice.

Denim read her body language, and did not expect her to turn on him.

“Does your wife know about the money you stole, how you got it, where the rest of it is?” The woman’s child Denim cared for was not his, but he supported him from afar. Denim was more angry with himself for telling his woe’s. Telling her his plans was a mistake. She was a hooker, and now, very malicious, and now disliked each other too. She turned on Denim, and as far as he was concerned, she should’ve kept her mouth shut, if she hadn’t already blabbed, and the last thing he needed, or wanted, for that matter.

His getting along all those years on the money he stole from his own father to pay his way out of trouble, he had plenty more where that came from, but Denim didn’t want to feel that kind of shame. The night Denim finagled the family money. He won an even larger sum at cards again, and added interest.

“No. My wife doesn’t know.” Inwardly Denim fumed, he did not know his urge to slap, or punch the woman, yet did neither. Denim stole the deeds, and bargained for time, and for no excuse, or reason to ever hurt his wife Enid again. They regarded each other, and his family thought too highly of them.

In the friendship of their marriage, not to mention the love he had for his brother Dane, with the women blabbing, risks Denim to possible criminal charges. Denim did not want to further break Enid, or Dane’s hearts, although in fact, Enid let Denim do whatever he wanted to, from the time they married. He phoned Enid over those few years, and she relayed any messages, especially to Dane at first, but his calls became too few and far in between. Enid learned not to worry because Denim sounded well, and said he landed a terrific job in which he sent her money, so she was okay, and even confident when Denim stayed out of trouble.

Mrs. Enid had distaste for sex, so Denim had never even penetrated her. Denim liked the sleazy kind of woman who wouldn’t care what he did to them. He never had children, and stayed married to Enid for friendship, and convenience mostly. From Enid, Denim could always come home to a hot meal, a clean house, they were good company for each other, and just happy at that. Denim had more to learn about Enid than she him, and virtually, they did not have any sex. They lived in the “badlands,” by Denim’s choice. The d’Anise loved Enid Rae, and she wanted to stay in the good graces of them if she could.

They built one of the largest mansions on that side of the country, and their good name, and reputations preceded them. They served charities, and donated money each year to help in communities around the world, for years.

“You ever approach my wife about this, or anything, I will kill you,” responded Denim.When he spoke, he tried not to deathly approach the sleazy hooker that night, and held a look into the hookers eyes, of a fierceness she’d never seen before, but stood there bold. With old drugs, and new liquor running in her veins, she was in no mood for threats, but flapping her mouth off at Denim, was a big mistake.

Denim grabbed her by the nape of her neck, twirled her hair into a ball in his fist, and reminded her to keep her respect for him, especially since he doesn’t bother her, and then tossed her aside. Denim did not feel well, and she knew he meant what he said. She had no love lost, and he started making a move to the front door. He habitually felt for his wallet, and when he went back to retrieve it, She held it out in her hands, flipping it back, and forth, and shouted for him to never come back to her house!

No matter, he bought the house, and now, she was an enemy, and Denim’s head began to spin. The noise she shouted didn’t help, and he began to sweat, and wiped his eyes.

“I don’t care how much money you have. Don’t ever come back here again! It better be at least twenty-five thousand, to keep my mouth shut,” she called! Denim wanted her mouth shut then, and there, but she meant to expose him for the deeds he stole. He did not want his bad deed to get out around town, and looked at her for the dirt she was. Since she was dirty, there was no telling how many people she’d told, shouting the way she had, anxiously, angrily, and obnoxiously.

Denim was furious with what she said aloud, could not believe his ears, or her mind, and cupped her mouth, backing her in between the dining room, and living room, and she tried to bite him hard, and cared less who would hear. If all she needed was money for her dope dealers, all she had to do was ask. Denim would’ve stayed, but confronted her, and fixed her problems as he used to do, and met her problem in the morning, with the money solved, but she could not think straight, and was in a desperate need of a fix.

“Shh! Do you want everyone to know?”

Dane had already told Denim that his father never missed the bonds he cashed in, and that he should forget about the debt, because of his dowry, and to live his life to enjoy it. Although both children of the same parents, Denim, and Dane were different beasts. Denim was drunk, trying to leave the sticky house of the sleaze, but she started grabbing the money he set aside for Enid Rae out of his wallet, but Denim was too large, and healthy for that. He came back level headed, muscular, and felt awkwardly abused of Enid Rae’s cash in a band, the sleaze was crinkling, and tearing her fingernails through the bills.

Denim shoved her, and she tossed the wallet across the dusty, dirty floor, and screamed as if he hurt her, and he said, “If you try that again I will shoot you,” and drew his gun to show her he had one. Denim hoped the sight of his gun would keep her quiet, or that he wouldn’t have to use it, but she dared him, on the second desperate look at the clock. The pistol had not deterred her, or her shrill voice escalating when she shouted. She should’ve just told him she’d been in trouble. She came fighting towards him again, his vision still blurred, and she attacked him again, hitting him hard on his head while Denim was just trying to leave.

He didn’t expect her to go to the wallet while he was picking it up, so he had to shove her back off him. When the gun went off, to Denim’s demise, the child was in the house, and shrieked at the sound of his gun. When Denim saw he shot the head of mother of that poor child, it horrified him. The child cried out but his mother laid on the floor as if sleeping aside the pool of blood seeping from her head, and she could not answer, where she normally wouldn’t. Denim shot her by accident, and then lost his mind, and wished he was in a dream. The horror of seeing the child he forgot that should’ve been there, was, and made him insane.

Another gunshot went off, the child held his breath, clasped his ears, and shrieked. Denim shot himself to death too, drunk, having too close to everything, and owed nothing. Feebly after hearing what happened to Denim, Uncle Nathan did not shift, shudder, or blink an eye. Lamenting, Denim shot himself in the head too, by his own gun, and the neighbors had called the police, and came running. Denim barely dropped before a neighbor rushed in, to the aid of the child who shrieked. Denim’s car was new, but he always parked it.

When neighbor’s rushed in, to their horror, the child was sitting alone crying in a pool of his mother’s blood. Someone scooped up baby Gordon, out of the shocking mess, cleaned him up, and fed him by the time the police arrived, and found people caring for the baby, and two adults shot in the head, dead. Enid Rae was horrified, and didn’t believe the story was what they said it was, since she was expecting Denim the next morning, had he been able to sleep.

At home, she cooked for Denim, and set out his bath attire. Who knew it would be Enid’s last time serving him. Enid thought she had no place to go, but took the child in, after Denim seemed to have gotten too drunk, gotten angry, got his gun, and shot his mistress. Since Enid regarded her parents-in-law until their deaths, Dane took her, and the child of his dead brother’s, dead mistress into the family’s three story mansion before uncle Nathan died, and each of them occupied a floor of their own, and Dane, Enid, and Gordon were okay ever since. Daisy. That was her real name. Her name was Daisy, and she pushed it.

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