Note from the author. This is less about the sex than it is about introducing characters for an oncoming series. Please look for Ingrams & Assoc 1: Double Bluff for the next stage in this story arc.
"Good afternoon, Algy. I may call you Algy, yes?" said the little man cheerfully. "I hope so. I know you can't answer me, but I also know you are in there. I can see it in your eyes. We can chat, yes?"
The little man, in a white crumpled linen suit complete with Panama hat, settled into the large overstuffed chair present in every hospital and old people's home. He put down his steaming coffee on the side table, took off his hat and mopped his brow with his handkerchief, revealing that he still had a head of hair, even though it was bright white. His accent was faintly British, though coated with American – what they called a Mid-Atlantic accent today.
The little man peered over at the immobile man in the bed next to him, hooked up to many machines and a respirator. The man in the bed looked back at him, questions in his eyes.
"Algy, I won't bother you unless you give me a sign, all right? I have a story to tell – one I tell once a year to someone who is actually old enough to remember the events, and always to someone who is unlikely to pass this particularly story on. I just ... need to retell this. Once a year."
--The little man watched the bed's occupant for some sign. The man in the bed looked back and then looked down at his hands, by his sides on the bed. One finger was raised. The little man looked at it, back at Algy and said, "Ok then. I'll take that as a yes. I should introduce myself. My name is Marcus, and I'm sad to say, I'm broken inside..."
April Burrows pulled in the parking lot of the Mecca Miles Retirement Community and sat in the driver's seat, listening to the car ping and creak as it cooled down. She checked her watch again and saw she was twenty minutes early. While she loved Uncle Marcus, hanging out in these places to wait for him was not her idea of a great time. They smelled too much of antiseptic, hinting at personal emergencies she honestly didn't want to think about.
April was twenty-five years old. She was lithe, as girls who play a lot of sport often are. She was 5'9", tall, and had a large bush of red hair, deep red, which she habitually kept in a scrunchy so it was out of her face. It wasn't that she disliked her hair – she quite liked it in fact. She just hated the amount of time it took to get it under control. Easier to just tie it up, and leave it at that. She didn't have anyone to impress right now anyway.
When she did let it down, she looked like a cross between the princess from Pixar's Brave and Prince William's wife, Kate Middleton. She had slim hips, was not over endowed up top (something she was eternally thankful for – her best friend at college, Jessica, had large boobs and as she said, "I could never tell if a guy was talking to me or my chest.") and had a pixie like nose. She had often wondered if she should have work done on it, but decided against it. It was part of her. The chin now ... the chin could definitely use work. She had sparkling green eyes that were never looking at one thing too long – her attention darted around, taking in everything and filing it away. April was just glad she didn't have the pale countenance that usually came with red hair – she had gotten her slightly olive skin from her mother, god rest her soul.
Having just come from a particularly hard volleyball game, she was still sweating slightly, even though she'd showered afterwards and the car's AC was running. It was hot out here in Arizona, she though, marveling again that she was still here, in Phoenix, even after graduating ASU in Tempe. She had imagined herself away from this oppressive heat the moment she graduated, but here she was, still here.
She checked her watch again – two minutes had passed. The car was starting to heat up from the afternoon sun and she considered her options. She had agreed to pick up Uncle Marcus from this dreary place and drop him home, but knowing him, he'd insist on dinner with her and grill her on the day's activities. She smiled. "Grill her" was a bit strong, but he was always interested in her life and made no bones about it. It was another reason she loved him so much.
She could either start the engine again and get the cold air flowing or just go inside and talk to the receptionist. They'd talked a few times the other times she'd picked up Uncle Marcus. She frowned when she thought about the fact that she still didn't know what he was doing there – who he was seeing, what he was talking about or anything. Not that it was her business, but April was smart enough to know she was nosey. Very nosey in fact. When she'd asked him he'd just smiled that sad smile of his and said "Oh, magic tricks for the natives, dear. They are the only ones who would remember it."
She thought it was great that he wanted to visit the old folks – it spoke to the kind of person he was – but it was a trifle ... she couldn't figure out the right word. Strange? Weird? Peculiar? No, it was eccentric. That was the word. After all, that was her uncle to a T. Look up "eccentric" in the dictionary, and there was a picture of him. As a matter of fact, she would have to do that – go buy a dictionary, stick his picture in next to the word and definition and give it to him as a present. She knew he'd find it funny.
Bored, she considered her Uncle Marcus, her favorite and only uncle. He was almost seventy-five now, but still spry. His background in showbiz and archeology had kept him young-looking and she knew his interest that which had been his life's work was still strong. After her parents had died, Uncle Marcus had been the one to arrange her upbringing, paying for it out of the proceeds he'd gotten from the various discoveries he and her parents had made in the years following the war, plus the radio and TV appearances he'd made over the years, playing the part of Older Statesmen Archeologist.
Her Uncle Marcus – his name was always preceded by "Her Uncle", something she noticed she'd been doing since she was six, and had just never stopped – was all the family she had left now. He wasn't even 'real' family – her only family had been her parents, and they'd died when she was an infant. But he'd been the one to look out for her; he'd even tried to adopt her, but back in the late sixties, single men trying to adopt little girls was frowned upon. She'd ended up a ward of court, in the system, but he'd never lost sight of her. Always there on weekends and for birthdays and other events, in whichever home she happened to be at the time.
He'd even been the one to explain to her what periods were, and embarrassed as he'd been, taken her out to buy her first set of period pads. When she had her first sexual experience and was dumped unceremoniously afterwards by the dickwad who had fooled her with his smooth talk, Uncle Marcus was the one she turned to for solace and understanding. She learned some lessons that day, both through her own desire to believe bullshit and also through the information that Her Uncle Marcus had imparted. One thing in particular had stuck with her: "If you want to be sure, wait. The more you wait and the more you know someone, the more you will know if it's right or not." Words to live by, she thought.
When she'd won a college scholarship–she was an uncommonly smart and observant girl–but hadn't been able to afford all that came with it, the living expenses and so on, he'd been there to help out. She was in his debt forever, but quite content to be because he was just so nice to her and it meant he'd always be in her life.
He was all the family she had left now and she did not intend to let him go, no matter how eccentric he was. Plus he was just fun. Although, she had to consider, he was sad. It was part of him, the sadness. She'd see him watch old films and just be crying by the end of it. He couldn't watch any of the news reels he and her parents had been in from way back, or the flickering black and white TV shows he'd presented way back before color and clickers. One year for Christmas she'd bought him a collection she'd had specially made for him, of the newsreels and shows he'd been in when he was young, and he'd dissolved into tears when she gave it to him. She knew he'd never watched any of them; the plastic wrap they'd come in had never been opened.
He'd never dated or married. She'd suspected for a while that he was a closet case – during her sophomore year in college, she'd used him to create a psychological profile out of idle curiosity, to see if there were hints that he was gay, but all that had come out was that it was likely he'd been hurt or had some tumultuous event in his past and he'd never got over it.
He was popular with the old fogeys and with the waitresses at the restaurants he took her to and she knew for a fact that a couple of the MILF divorcées in the area had tried to invite him to 'mixers' – thinly disguised hunting grounds for older rich cougars with nothing else to do. But he always begged off politely and instead ate by himself at Subway or some such.
He did look good for his age. A goatee beard – something he'd had since he was a young man, not one of these affectations in the last few years – sun burnt skin, white teeth. He looked like the Most Interesting Man in the Universe's Father. He was dapper, smartly dressed and unfailingly polite to everyone.
.... There is more of this story ...