Marjorie Carlson Davis

My boss was smooth and handsome, like the supermarket apple on my desk, a perfect waxy red.  Mention Dane Merrow and one word sprung to mind: radiate. He radiated. Women flocked to him like fruit flies. I’d been working for Dane Merrow Real Estate for two years, and whenever Dane asked me to do something for him, all my common sense would just ooze out. Puddle on the floor.  

Like the sewer problem in the Maple Street house. Beautiful house, near a great school, but every so often, toxic water bubbled up in the basement. Strange case. The water didn’t smell bad, but tests showed with what was in it, you might have been living in Chernobyl.  

“Let’s sell this house, Trisha,” Dane said trailing fingers over my shoulders.  

My skin tingled.  

He handed me a contract, introduced me to a young couple. First time buyers.  

“They love the Maple Street house,” Dane said. “We’re negotiating a great deal. Motivated sellers, you know.” He winked at the fresh-faced woman, who beamed and rubbed her pregnant belly.  

Her husband was so serious, consulting meticulous notes. “Any disclosures?” he asked, pen in hand, poised above the contract.  

Disclosures? I paused and picked up the shiny, red apple. I imagined water oozing into the basement, a baby crawling through it. Dane hovered by his office door, flashed me a dazzling smile.  

“No,” I said, and took a bite, down through that beautiful irradiated apple skin, to the mealy, tasteless fruit below.

First published:May, 2009
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