No, you are certainly not late for this tale telling party! Maybe you might want to read the previous chapters just to know what happened so far. Last chapter ended where Ted Hanky swooped up the ghosts at the Frederick Fahrsythe Mansion where they had been haunting Ms. Perfect, Didi Lutz.
We learned something about the Hanky family and I am telling you the story of their sunken Emporium. Grab a seat or sit on the lawn. Help yourself to a nice cup of tea or coffee, and sit with me for the duration of 29 screens in which I will dig deeper into the Hanky household.
My gratitude goes to all artists who’s wonderful stuff I use to give this family and their home(s) the grandeur it needs. Special thanks also goes to my muses: Martoele, Spitzy sis Barb and Haagje. And of course to all you readers! Poseidon loves you!!!
Ted stepped out of the bathroom as soon as he sucked that last pesky spirit in his ghost catcher and opened the door. He bumped into Ms Perfect as she was about to enter the room at the same time. Their eyes locked for a nano second.
– “Gee… Mr. Ghost Buster…. That is one big tool you’ve got there.”
– “Now shoo…! It’s late and I need my beauty sleep. I say thanks a lot and bye- bye…!”
So Ted went home, locked himself in his room and started to stack his catches. After that they all watched who is the next ‘top chef show’ on TV. All that time Ted thought about how Ms. Lutz had shooed him out of her house, and that she had the most peculiar red hair he had ever seen.
Ted kept himself quite busy, and he was getting an expert in dealing with the afterlife.
He talked to the ghosts and spirits. He was good at that. Much better than he was at talking to the living. He had a great way comforting them, telling them to pass over to the other side, or he just simply zapped them and added them to his growing collection…
…which he kept in his room. There was this strange electrical sort of humming sound in his room and Ted liked that. He would just sit with them for hours and listen. He loved the quietness of their company. They gave him comfort. They did not reject him, like one certain red headed lady did , and... *DING DONG*.
There was someone at the door. No one ever…, EVER came by to visit. The only one downstairs was Ma. It startled Angie for a minute. –“Ma?… Ma! Are you getting that?”
– “I’ll get it!!”
– “Ma…, NO solicitors. We have everything we need.” Angie shouted from upstairs.
– “Hello, excuse me…, I was looking for Mr. Hanky. I believe he lives here?”
– “…TED!!!! Get down here. You’ve got company!”
– “It seems you have a visitor Ted…! Where are your manners? Please offer her a drink, for I notice she ran all the way to see you, since she is in her athletic wear. She must be thirsty. Now excuse me, I need to get dressed. I am so sorry Ms. Lutz.”
– “But Ma…! Err… Do you want something Ms. Lutz?”
– “Ted, I have raised you better than that. Would you like something to drink… Ted…; not, do you want…, Ted.”
– “Ms. Lutz, is there anything I can possibly get for you Ms. Lutz? Would you care for a nice glass of ice cold lemonade perhaps?
Now listen…! What is it you want? What brought you out here? You want those ghosts back I recently caught at your place? Is that it?”
Ted hadn’t forgotten the ice cold shoulder Ms. Lutz had given him that night when she’d told him to leave because she needed her sleep.
Didi Lutz was in shock. She had never met a more inappropriate man in her entire life. She was appalled. But Ted wasn’t ready yet. – “I was just doing my job! You could have shown me SOME respect!”
Ma stood frozen in her spot….
Ted was waiting for an answer….
Didi was lost for words…and Ted said: – “Good, if that’s all…A rose is a rose is a rose…, and he left the room.
She fled outside also, standing there counting to ten… a few hundred times.
All she came here to do was to say thank you to the man who made it possible for her to sleep again at nights. Her house had been free of ghosts ever since this… this… man…, this Ted Hanky had freed it from them.
Ted went out too to hide in the reeds. Ms. Stuck up Lutz would surely be gone in a while. Good riddance!
– “Ms. Lutz…, my brother needs to apologize to you.”
– “Huh…, Whah…Who are you? Are there more of you?”
– ”My name is Angie. I am Ted’s sister. My Ma just told me what happened. We don’t know you, but we Hankys are great hosts, IF we have visitors. Ted had no right being rude to you.”
In a small voice Ted squeaked for help... – “HELLP”
That’s when Angie found him.
– “Ted…, being a grown up means that you can’t go hide in the reed whenever something happens you don’t like. Those days are long gone. I know you could get away with it when we were kids, but… SNAP out of it!!!”
– “She was RUDE to me Angie. She hurt my feelings.”
– “You don’t say Ted…; that is unheard of! You would NEVER do that to anyone, I am sure. I am surprised and happy that you think you have feelings though. I never noticed before. Now GO and apologize. Be a man!”
– “OK. Shake hands and say sorry to Ms. Lutz Ted.”
Didi Lutz just stared at the woman in front of her. Heavens to Betsy, this was a person she’d hate to see lose a battle.
That night Ma explained Ted how concerned she was about his mental health. She had seen him act this afternoon, and she definitely not liked what she had seen.
– “You are going to give that Ms. Didi Lutz a call son. I want you to make up for everything you did wrong this afternoon. This is not how I raised my kids.
Ted, in no mood to argue with his mother, said he would give Didi a call first thing in the morning. – “Yeah… and pigs might fly! Do it Ted. I mean it! I want you to invite her for lunch. I will tell Angie to make Dim Sum…, hmm…, I like Dim Sum. Yes, good idea. Call her Ted!”
Being a good boy he picked up the phone and an image of Didi Lutz had conveniently appeared on his contact list. There was no way he could go against his Ma’s wishes. She was wearing the trousers, not him. He felt like a looser. Didi was not home. He left her a message though. Would she be kind enough to give him a second chance? To give him the opportunity to show off some of the famous Hanky hospitality? He invited her over for lunch.
Ted went up to his room and got ready for bed.
– “What are you all looking at? Huh!? Mind your own measly businesses, or I will put you all in my closet and lock the door!” He looked at the ghosts he had captured at Didi’s house. He felt vibration coming from some of the jars, he also felt the heavyness of the spirits inside creeping onto his shoulders.
– “WHAT??? Tell me! You must know her better than I do. You have been haunting her for ages! What is it I need to know? Be nice???”
Meeting again with Didi Lutz was all of a sudden something that was predestined. There was no simple bailing out of that luncheon date. How it had come to this, Ted was clueless.
Not one of them. Not a single ONE knew what impact the arrival of Ms. Didi Lutz would have on their lives. Not even Ms. Perfect herself. For some odd reason she found herself RSVP-ing the invitation. Yes, she accepted. Why? She didn’t know.
To be continued…