Home > The Tibbs Reader > The Tibbs Reader: The House at 2814

The Tibbs Reader: The House at 2814

Ferguson Bunts?

Bunts stood at the counter, admiring the crazy-horse leather journal– coptic-bound with a tie-closure made of the finest island silk. The initials “G.T.” were hand-pressed into the cowhide in pure gold. A strange symbol, specially designed by Bunts himself, was in-laid into the center of the cover in ivory.

“Fine work, fine work indeed Mr. Chester. Why, this is a MOST DELIGHTFUL tablet!”

The stationer looked at the initials. “Thought your name was Bunts.”

“Indeed! Indeed it is,” Bunts replied. “But this exquisite cahier is a birthday offering for my dearest schoolmate and confidant Gertrude Tork.”

“Lady friend,” the stationer said suggestively.

Bunts lowered his voice.

“Our intimacy transcends the lecherous ideas in your head, Mr. Chester.”

Chester looked at the floor.

“Not that I have failed to muse on those things carnal,” Bunts boomed loudly. “But, as the poet said, “the act of fornication is akin to a rose growing in winter!”

“What poet?”

“A 17th-century bard of the continent. You would not be familiar with his work. Tis’ only available in the most obscure libraries.”

Bunts threw several large bills on the counter while Chester wrapped the tablet in brown paper. Bunts then examined a rack of fountain pens but put each back with a sort of nauseous disdain.

He drove into town and into an older neighborhood of run-down homes. At the crest of a hill at a cross-street, bordered on one side by an unkempt graveyard and on another by a mysterious flat factory of nebulous purpose, Bunts parked the shiny new Neptune.

He turned a corner onto a short street and began passing a series of large ancient homes that had been broken into apartments and empty overgrown lots. The homes became progressively smaller as he descended the hill until he arrived at a series of duplexes.

“AHA! THE VENERABLE 2814. THERE SHE IS, THE FROWZY EDIFICE OF ABOMINATION!” Bunts boomed loudly. A nearby neighbor, senselessly hoeing a patch of dirt, looked up with confusion.

He walked around the side of 2814. It was a duplex (one half of which was boarded) and featured a strange inaccessible porch completely covered with plastic latticework. The day was sweltering– all of the windows to 2814 stood open and bereft of screens like wide-open mouths. He banged at the side door loudly and removed a pure silver cigarette case from his white suit coat.

After some time a busty blonde woman, perhaps in her forties, answered the door in a tight bodice.

“MY DEAR!” Bunts boomed. “WHAT AN ABSOLUTE, UNPARALLELED DELIGHT TO SEE YOU AGAIN!”

“Would you keep it down, fer’ Chrissakes,” said the woman, who grabbed the big man’s hand and led him up a stairwell. The walls were all stained yellow with nicotine.

Bunts closely watched her curvy posterior bouncing up the steps.

“WHAT A DELIGHT!” he remarked.

The room was large but stuffy– a dented box fan failed to provide any breeze and oscillated with a loud, slow creak. Clothes and spent food containers were strewn everywhere. A television buzzed senselessly and the large bed was unmade. A wicker papasan chair was covered with tawdry paperbacks.

Bunts pushed them aside and plopped into the chair. “I SEE, MY DEAR, THAT YOU CONTINUE TO READ TRIFLING MATTERS. WHY, HAVE YOU NOT EVEN OPENED THE GREAT WORKS OF LITERATURE THAT I BROUGHT TO YOU?”

“There ain’t nothing wrong with them terrorist attack novels,” she said. Bunts admired her bosom and lit another cigarette.

“I HAVE BROUGHT YOU ANOTHER MEMENTO TO SHOW MY DEEP, ABIDING AFFECTION FOR YOU DEAR. IT’S A TABLET, ONE OF THE FINEST YOU SHALL EVER SEE.” He handed her the gift. She tossed it on the bed.

“Alright, Daddy. What’s it going to be today? Are the teeth in or out?”

“AH. WHAT A DELIGHT! YOU, MY DEAREST LOVE, ARE AN IMMORTAL OFFERING OF FEMININITY STRAIGHT FROM THE GODS! LET US THANK THEM BY REMOVING THE TEETH– THAT WRETCHED CARTILAGE!”

WHAT AN UNMITIGATED DELIGHT THIS SHALL BE!” Bunts said after a long pause.

He rose from the papasan. The woman removed her dentures and placed them on the bed stand.

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