I folded up the canvas neatly and put in back in its place in the trunk. I scuffed up the pine needles a little where piggy had crushed the thick layer. I called Him;
“He is ready for you Sir.”
I looked at my phone, that was not the normal way of things. My mind was muddled, what had happened, what had changed which would mean he wouldn't talk to me? A horn blasted from the night, I snapped to attention and swerved to avoid the oncoming truck, the trucker swore at me and shook his fist as he drove on. I stopped, sucked in cool night air, collecting my thoughts before moving off again. I got out of my car on arriving home, stripping off as I entered the house, going straight down to the beach. The cool salt of the water unkinked my brain and I swam parallel with the shore for a way before returning to the beach and my condo.
I dripped up the wooden stairs, crossed the deck and entered my condo, the strong pungency of cigar smoke hit me. I snapped on the lights, He was sat in a chair smoking a huge cigar. Some ash fell on the oak floor, I managed to mask my feelings of irritation and instead brought an ash tray over.
“You should dry yourself, you're dripping on your lovely oak floor, such a shame to ruin it.”
In my shock at His presence I had forgotten my own naked state. I went to my bedroom without a word, towelled myself and put on a bath robe. Returning to the living room I poured myself a large bourbon.
“Would you care for a drink Sir?”
He gave His assent. I handed Him a large bourbon then seated myself opposite Him.
“I expect you are wondering why I am here.”
I nodded, His smoke and gravel voice blending with the cigar smoke and bourbon as if the match were deliberate; it was, at least on my part.
“I wanted to congratulate you in person for the excellent results you achieved with Piggy.”
I stiffened a little, He noticed and gave a smirk;
“Interesting you should also choose to refer to my younger brother by his childhood nickname. Although it was a logical choice.”
So Piggy was His brother, well I'm glad I didn't stint on the gaffer tape.
“I have brought you a gift, a token of appreciation one might say.”
He gestured with his cigar to a wooden box on the coffee table. I moved to the table, then stopped.
“Go ahead, open it.”
I lifted the lid and took out the tissue paper wrapped contents, whatever the gift it was heavy. I set the package down on the table and removed the tissue paper. When I saw what He had given me I gasped.
I took the lamp over to the side board and plugged it in. I switched the lamp on, the sheen of the antique brass glowed in the diffused light from the shade.
I sat down again. We admired the soft light from Sherri's eye sockets as we finished our drinks.