SX's tombstoneby S X Meagher

Samantha Ramsay knew she was going to be late, but she wasn’t willing to rush her painstaking preparations. Halloween was her favorite holiday, and the party she was going to promised to be one of the best she’d ever attended.

Being a flight attendant was usually far less exciting than many people supposed, but every once in a while the perks made the hours of serving coffee to annoyed passengers worth it.

She’d been deadheading to Atlanta, and, since the jumpseats were occupied, she was seated in first class. The man sitting next to her was headed to Savannah, where he worked as a scenic designer for theatrical productions throughout the Southeast. By the time they landed at Hartsfield, Samantha and Gabe were fast friends and she’d promised to attend his gala Halloween party, where, he assured her, she’d have the time of her life. She did have to work the schedule and pray that she’d get a layover in Atlanta. She was frankly amazed when her plan worked, and she’d spent every moment of her free time in the intervening two weeks working on her costume.

Gabe assured Samantha that everyone wore a costume to his party, and that she’d be amazed at how intricate and involved many of the outfits were. This year’s theme was “The War Between The States,” and as much as Samantha was looking forward to the event, she had to admit she was also a little intimidated. Assuming anything available would be cheesy and cheap looking, she didn’t want to rent a costume. Since her high school dream had been to be a fashion designer, she was an excellent seamstress, but she hadn’t had as much time as she’d hoped to work on her dress. Nonetheless, when she stood and critically assessed herself in the mirror, she decided she’d done a fine job. She might not be wearing the most ornate costume, but hers was authentic and handmade, which made her justifiably proud.

Samantha had never been to Savannah, but after spending a day there she decided she’d have to return for a longer visit as soon as she could swing it. She loved the South, even though her knowledge of it was almost entirely born of Southern Gothic novels and tales of the 19th Century. Modern cities like Atlanta and Winston-Salem didn’t hold much allure for her. Her real interest was in the cities and towns where one could imagine that it was still 1850 if one squinted to avoid seeing cars and telephone poles, and the cool glow of television screens illuminating double-hung windows with hand-blown glass panes.

Savannah was remarkably beautiful on this warm, dry October night, and Sam’s heart started to beat rapidly when she saw the steady stream of people, all in costume, walking toward the address Gabe had given her.

His house was on one of the squares in old Savannah, and it was as close to a mansion as Sam had ever been in. Gabe had told her on the plane that he’d inherited it from his lover, a much older man who’d purchased it when it was very down at the heels in the 1970s. One room at a time, it had been meticulously and gloriously renovated, until it was just about the way Gabe wanted it to be.

As Sam entered the cobweb strung porch, a man dressed in formal attire greeted her coolly, his affect intentional since he was made up as a ghoul. Shaking her head at how easily she succumbed to illusion, Sam shivered as she walked by him afraid to turn her back on him, but too embarrassed to be caught turning just to keep a weather eye out.

The house was lit only by gas lamps and candles, and it was so dark that Sam kept her hand on the wall for support as she walked into the parlor. This room was brighter, partly due to a roaring fire in the huge fireplace that highlighted the people who stood in front of it, sipping punch.

A very dapper gentleman swept across the room, took her hand and kissed it, bowing. “Charmed, I’m sure,” he said, smiling.

“Your home is fantastic, Gabe. Just wonderful!”

“Why, thank you, Ma’am. I’m so glad you were able to come, Samantha. Let me introduce you to a few of my friends.” They spent a long while going from one person to the next, each of them dressed as Southern ladies and gentlemen of the Civil War eraand many of them wearing the clothing of the opposite sex. Sam had assumed that some of the guests would be heterosexual, but she hadn’t yet seen anyone who looked remotely straight. Many women wore waistcoats and vests with elaborate cravats, and she almost felt strange to be wearing a dress. That is, until a very handsome woman sidled up next to her and eyed her politely. “That’s a lovely gown you’re wearing, Ma’am.” The simply dressed woman’s Southern accent was as sweet and syrupy as honey.

She tried to put just a trace of a Southern accent on over her normal Midwestern speech. “Why, thank you.”

Gabe patted his friend on the back. “I’ll leave you two alone. I know you can introduce yourselves.”

Raptly intent on the woman before her, Sam barely noted when Gabe departed.

“If I may be so bold, I must say that you’re the loveliest woman here tonight.” The stranger carefully scrutinized the dress, her dark eyes roaming over the details along the hem. “Did one of our local seamstresses make that for you?”

“No, actually I made it myself,” Sam said proudly.

“Yourself?” The woman looked shocked. “I do not think I have ever met a lady who makes her own clothing.”

“Oh!” Sam tried to play the game, thinking hard to determine what her answer should be, were she a local woman in the 1860s. “Well, our fortunes have been...reversed,” she said, trying to look stoic. “The war, you know...” She trailed off, hoping the less said the better.

The woman looked down at her hands, nodding slowly. “Yes, I know. No one has escaped unscathed.” She took a breath and when her eyes met Sam’s, she wore a half smile. “Forgive my rudeness. My name is Kenyon Pritchett. I am pleased to meet you.”

“Samantha Ramsay.” Sam took Kenyon’s soft but strong hand and shook it briefly. “Most of my friends call me Sam.”

“That would be presumptuous of me,” Kenyon said, looking down shyly.

Sam was thrilled to meet someone who was so effortlessly charming, not to mention very attractive. She looked like a simple, honest woman who wasn’t too full of herself, something that Sam had always admired. She’d met too many stockbrokers and mortgage bankers though the years, and she’d come to dislike shaking a hand that felt like it had never done an honest day’s work. And being a flight attendant had exposed her to far too many rude people, so she doubly appreciated good manners.

The main question in Sam’s mind was why Kenyon was costumed as she was. Very simple, worn dungarees covered rough boots that had seen better years. Her white shirt was generously cut from a lightweight wool, and it, along with her pants, had a hand-sewn look about them. If Kenyon had been wearing a rope belt, it would not have looked out of place, given the rest of her attire.

Sam didn’t know how to ask the indelicate question. There was no polite way to say, “Why do you look poor?” But Kenyon’s costume clearly gave the impression of someone down on her luck. Glancing at her pants again, Sam noticed that they didn’t have a zipper. Four small buttons held them up, and the buttonholes were definitely hand stitched. She couldn’t keep her curiosity in check. “Your...attire is very authentic,” she said, hoping Kenyon would elaborate on its provenance.

“I had a proper uniform at one time,” she said, not making eye contact. “But after Sherman destroyed our supply lines...” She trailed off, looking past Sam’s shoulder, as if she could still see a blood-soaked battlefield. “Well,” she added, looking as though she were forcing herself to smile when she met Sam’s gaze, “we have all known hard times, and I believe it is indelicate to harp upon our misfortunes.”

Smiling flirtatiously, Sam said, “It’s all right if you’re a little indelicate. I don’t mind hearing about your misfortunes.”

Resolutely shaking her head, her chin-length straight hair moving gently, Kenyon said, “I shall keep my counsel for the time being. May I get you a glass of Chatham Artillery Punch? It’s a local favorite and quite delicious.”

“Yes, thank you, I’d love some.”

Sam watched Kenyon cross the room, her vaguely athletic body effortlessly slicing through the crowd. Moments later she was back, carrying two punch glasses full of a dark liquid.

“Here you are,” she said, handing over one glass and then bowing in a courtly fashion. She extended her glass and clinked it against Sam’s. “To your good health.”

“Thank you kindly,” Sam replied, smiling in appreciation of her first sip. She wasn’t sure what was in the punch, but some form of alcohol was high on the proportion list. It was sweet and fruity and tickled her nose, but it went down very smoothly. After another sip, she became certain the punch packed a powerful one.

“How did you burn yourself?” Sam asked, seeing a bright red wound just above Kenyon’s wrist.

Reflexively, Kenyon pulled her sleeve down, hiding the mark. “Oh, tis nothing. Just a...sunburn.” She gave Sam a quick glance that was almost playful, but also bore a hint of teasing or perhaps a taunt.

Sam didn’t reply for a few moments, trying to figure out how a person could get a sunburn on one square inch of skin, when it hit her. “How, exactly, did the sun burn such a small area?” There was an undisguised challenge in her voice.

Kenyon’s eyebrow twitched as though she were about to smile. “A bit of light must have come through the curtains in my bedroom this afternoon. I am...sensitive to the sun.”

“How sensitive are you?” Sam asked, trying to inject a little seduction into their exchange.

Kenyon smile broadened, but she still kept her gaze just short of fully meeting Sam’s eyes. “Very. I much prefer the night.”

Looking more carefully, Sam noted that Kenyon was remarkably pale. In fact, her skin had an almost a bluish hue, as though she hadn’t seen the sun in years, if ever. “It must be hard to avoid the sun in Georgia. How do you manage?”

Another sly smile was revealed. “Over the years one learns to adapt.”

“How old are you, if that isn’t too rude a question.”

“Not at all. I was born in 1837.”

Sam felt perfectly comfortable falling into character. “And you fought in the war?”

“Yes. I did not serve for long, but I gave my all.”

Fascinated by the fervor with which Kenyon spoke, and also with the story it was clear the woman was prepared to share, Sam said, “How were you able to serve? Wasn’t it hard for a woman to...?”

With a sad smile, Kenyon said, “In late 1864, a three-legged dog would have been given a weapon...if there were any weapons left to disperse. You will recall that Sherman was on his March To The Sea by this time, and with Atlanta destroyed, there were not many of us left to keep the Yankees from the Atlantic.” She stuck her chin out defiantly. “I was not willing to relinquish our right to be a free and separate country. I gave my life for the Confederacy, and for Georgia, and I would do it again, if I but could.”

Sam had never considered the Civil War as anything but a dreadful, protracted war fought over the question of slavery, but Kenyon, or Kenyon’s character, didn’t seem to share her perspective. She wanted to question her more fully, but she didn’t know how to do that without showing her ignorance. She tried using an open-ended question, just to see if Kenyon would elaborate.

“Tell me more about how you felt. What did Georgia mean to you?”

Looking abashed, Kenyon said, “It is my home, my heart. I firmly aligned myself with Governor Brown, as I assume most Georgians did.”

“I’m not...actually from Georgia. Tell me more.”

“You are not? Where are you from?”

Deciding to tell the truth, Sam said, “I’m from Kansas.”

“Ahh...many brave Kansans gave their life for the cause.”

“Yes, that’s true.” In school, Sam had learned of the divide between Kansans who favored slavery and aligned with the Confederacy and those who opposed it and stayed with the Union. “But, unlike you, we didn’t have to bear the burden of the war being fought within our borders.”

“That is true, Samantha. Very true.” Kenyon looked down, then took in a breath and spoke like a true believer. “It is hard...even after all these convince people that for many of us, the main issue was not slavery.” She slapped her hand on her leg, the abrupt move and noise making Sam flinch. “Of course, that is what it was for some, but most of us were fighting for freedom from the government. We were Georgians!” If there had been any color in her cheeks, it would have been a fiery pink. “We were members of a republic! The North was trying to impose its will on us from hundreds of miles away!” Her voice had grown in volume, and also in emotion. “My family never owned slaves. We were merchants, not farmers or plantation owners.”

Sam couldn’t help herself. She couldn’t let Kenyon have a pass on slavery. “Just because you didn’t own slaves doesn’t make it right for others to!”

Kenyon started to nod so forcefully that Sam was afraid she’d strain something.

“I know that, Samantha. And I agree that slavery is wrong, no matter where or when it is practiced. But only the state had the right to abolish slavery within our borders. When the federalists took away our rights, then prevented us from seceding...well, there was no option. No option at all.” Looking tired, almost worn out, she leveled her gaze and said quietly, “War was the only answer. I had rather die a Georgian than live as a pawn of the industrial North.” Her shoulders slumped and she let out a weary sigh. “So many lives lost, and now...our entire way of life is gone, never to be regained.” She looked up, her eyes filled with sadness. “We did our best.”

“I know you did,” Sam said, feeling a deep empathy for Kenyon, even though she didn’t fully understand her points. “I don’t know as much about the war as I should. My views are probably pretty simplistic.”

“Do not fret about that. It was complex, and being allowed to own slaves was the biggest issue for many, but not me, not for my family. We wanted a Georgia where everyone was free. Yes, it would have taken years to achieve, but that should have been our fight to wage.”

There was something so appealing about the fire in Kenyon’s eyes and the determination in her voice that Sam found herself even more drawn to the enigmatic woman. “How did you...” the word stuck on her tongue, “…die.”

With another slow shake of her head, Kenyon said, “It was the Battle of Honey Hill.”

“I’ve never heard of that.”

“It was a small battle, a footnote, almost. As I said, Sherman was well on his way to the sea, and a few expeditionary forces were shoring up his drive to cut off the Charleston and Savannah Railroad. General Hatch left Hilton Head, heading to a town just above Beaufort. They were a big forceover 5,000 men. They came up the Broad River and finally left their transports and met us at Honey Hill.” She sighed and said with irony, “My final resting place.”

“What happened?”

“I had begun tagging along with the militia. By that time no one looked too closely to make sure you were a man if you could tote a gun and march, and I could do both.”

“That’s remarkable,” Sam whispered, mesmerized by Kenyon’s recitation.

“We had cannon...just a few...blocking the road. But Colonel Colcock was a wonderful strategist. He knew just how to place those guns to keep the Union troops at bay. We fought for hours. It was near dark when the blue bellies finally gave up and retreated.” She smiled, her pride evident. “We outfought a force five times bigger than ours. They had hundreds of casualties, we suffered only eight.” Her smile grew and it was clear that she was proud. “Only eight.”

“But one of the eight was you,” Sam said, feeling as though she might cry.

“Regrettably, I didn’t die at once. I sustained a bad wound in the gut, and in the darkness, no one saw that I was still alive, and I was too weak to call out. I am not sure it would have killed me...” She trailed off. “I shall never know.”

“What happened?” Sam’s eyes were wide with suspense and her heart beat heavily in her chest.

“Well,” Kenyon’s voice grew quiet and she glanced around to make sure no one could hear, “when the severely wounded were left on the battlefield, predators would descend and dispatch us to the new world...the world of the undead.”

Sam’s eyebrows almost touched her hairline. “Vampires?”

“That is what many call them. All I know is that they took more from me than did the lead the Yankees hit me with.”

Sam reached across the space that separated them, and her bangle bracelets brushed against Kenyon’s hand.

Kenyon pulled it back sharply, then checked her hand for damage. “Silver is lethal,” she murmured, almost to herself. “One more cross to bear.” Her grin was lopsided and devilishly attractive. “That is a little inside joke.”

“You have a very good attitude,” Sam said, realizing she was being silly but unable to stop herself.

“I have had time to acclimate. After a hundred and fifty years, you can get used to anything, or so I have found.”

“What else has been hard for you?” Sam removed her silver bangles and placed them in her purse, then let her hand slide over to Kenyon’s and gently stroke it.

Giving Sam a quick, grateful smile, Kenyon said, “Just the kinds of things you would expect. It is hard to lose the people you love. All of my people are gone now.”

“You’re single?”

“Oh, my, yes.” Kenyon laughed, the sound melodic and bright. “I have some great-great-great nieces and nephews, but I stay out of their lives. It is better to let the past be silent.”

“You’re very brave.”

“I do not know if that is true,” Kenyon said, smiling shyly, “but I hope it is.”

“What do you...did you do for a living?”

“This and that. I have always been interested in mechanics. I finally got my degree from Georgia Tech in the 1950s.”

Sam blinked in surprise.

“It was hard for a woman to attend a university, especially to study engineering, much before that.”

“So, you make your living as an engineer?”

“Mmm, not exactly. One thing I have learned is the power of compounded interest. Do you have any idea how much money you would have if you put a thousand dollars in the bank in 1860 at five percent interest?” She grinned, showing her straight teeth, which looked very white against her pale skin.

“No, I have no idea.”

“It is enough.” Kenyon nodded, looking satisfied. “And if you added just a little bit to that every few years, you would have no problems that money could solve.”

“But you’d still have problems that money couldn’t solve,” Sam said, her voice filled with empathy.

“We all have problems, what matters is how one deals with them. I have found there is nothing that can improve upon a positive attitude.” She laughed. “I picked that up in recent years. That was not a common phrase when I was young.”

“You’ve adapted. That’s a very heathy attitude.”

“The alternative is unacceptable to me. I have acquaintances who have gone a different way.” She said this with a dark note of warning that made Sam shiver. Receiving a warm squeeze from Sam’s hand, Kenyon added, “There’s nothing to worry about. None of them are here...tonight.”

Sam was dying to know more about Kenyon’s story, even though she knew the woman was making the tale up as she went along. Still, there was something so compelling in the way she spoke that Sam was spellbound. “Would you like something to eat?”

“No, no need,” Kenyon said. “But allow me to pick out a few things for you.” She got up and went to the buffet table that was nearly groaning with all sorts of treats. Momentarily, she came back and presented a full plate to Sam. “I think you will like many of these delicacies. That sweet potato pone looks delightful.”

“I love sweet potatoes,” Sam agreed, taking a big bite. “Mmm.” She almost swooned. “This is fantastic.”

“It looks it,” Kenyon said, looking wistful.

“Oh, I’m sorry.” Sam reached out and touched her again. “I shouldn’t go on like this.”

“Don’t worry about it. Really. I can eat if I want, I just don’t need to, so I have no desire for it.” She shrugged. “It is in the past for me, but I fully recall how much I loved food.”

“It must be odd. Very odd.”

“Oh, it is, but, as I said, I have managed to look forward.” Shrugging again, she said, “That is the curse, but I have decided to make of it what I can. The worst part is the loss of desirefor food, for drink, for the fleeting pleasures I used to enjoy. Knowing that life was limited and its joy was fleeting was, in retrospect, an inestimable gift.”

Unable to resist eating the delightful Southern delicacies on her plate, Sam did so circumspectly, knowing that Kenyon couldn’t enjoy the repast with her. Yes, she can, she reminded herself. She’s just keeping up the front. She noticed the low fire in Kenyon’s eyes and asked innocently, “Do you have any other desires, or have they all gone?”

For the first time, Kenyon fully met her eyes, and Sam was entirely unable to avert her gaze. The dark eyes burned into her in a way she didn’t think she’d ever experienced, almost rendering her unable to move. Her heart beat faster and her hands felt slightly damp, and she had to resist the urge to grasp Kenyon’s shoulders and kiss her. But she did resist...just barely. It wasn’t until Kenyon broke the connection that she felt like she could gather herself, and she fought for long moments until she could control her breathing.

“I still have some desires,” Kenyon said, her voice low and seductive. “Some of my desires have become...voracious.”

Feeling a little weak, Sam found a pair of chairs and settled into one, sensing Kenyon taking the other. Leaning her head back against her chair, Sam felt a deep unease settle over her. It took quite a few moments until she could place the locus of her distress, but then it dawned on her: the mirror that hung on the wall to Kenyon’s right was positioned in a way that should have shown both of them, but Sam could only see herself. Kenyon and her chair were entirely absent. She gulped, feeling like she couldn’t take a deep breath, a drop of perspiration on her hairline as she allowed the implications of this discovery to settle. It can’t be! But...she has all of the signs. How would she so immediately have an answer to how she’d burned her hand? Who would say she got a sunburn on a tiny spot? It’s madness...but...somehow I believe her!

A pianist was playing a lovely, slow song, and Kenyon stood and sketched a short bow. “May I have the honor?” she asked, sounding gallant rather than corny.

Sam got up, still feeling very unnerved. She put her hand in Kenyon’s and let her lead the way to the dance floor. They moved together to the beautiful melody, one Sam had never heard. “This song was popular when I was very young,” Kenyon said, her cool breath floating past Sam’s ear. “It soothes me.”

Kenyon smoothly led them around the floor, showing a dexterity that few women Sam had danced with had ever shown. She was confident and sure in her lead, and it seemed as though she had danced to this song hundreds of times before. Sam was so comfortable in Kenyon’s sure embrace that she let her mind drift, just allowing herself to be transported by the music. They danced for innumerable songs, not speaking much, just moving and communing with the gentle touch of their bodies as the music led them.

Finally, Kenyon leaned close and whispered, “Perhaps we should take some air?”

Sam nodded and they went out the back door to a large bricked patio with orange and white lights strung through the heavy branches of the graceful magnolias. “It’s lovely here,” Sam sighed, looking up.

“Yes, it is. I recall when this house...all of these houses,” Kenyon said, sweeping her arm in the direction of the rest of the street, “were built. Days of plenty,” she added, looking wistful and pleased at the same time.

Sam took her hand and squeezed it, relishing the feel of the cool, strong grip. She looked down, and felt her body jerk when she noted that the burn was goneor at least it wasn’t visible at the moment.

“How’s your sunburn?” she asked, hoping that the shakiness in her voice was not too noticeable.

Kenyon moved closer, sliding her arm around Sam’s back, effectively hiding the arm in question. “It was nothing. I am a very quick healer.” She closed the distance between them and touched Sam’s chin with her fingers, tilting her head so she could gaze into her eyes.

Again, Sam felt the pull, the unavoidable magnetic pull that prevented her from even considering shifting her gaze. Kenyon’s eyes smiled just before she leaned close and kissed Sam with a gentle, tender touch. The kiss was nearly magical, and Sam sighed when they broke apart. Being in Kenyon’s arms was so strangely reassuring that she felt she could remain just as they were all night. But Kenyon had other ideas and she pressed her mouth to Sam’s again and again, making her pulse, and her temperature, rise precipitously. When they finally broke apart Sam was panting and Kenyon was still holding her gaze, looking almost feral.

“Do you like this?” she asked, not waiting for an answer before her lips descended upon Sam’s bare neck.

“Yes, very, very much,” she managed to whisper. Kenyon nibbled and sucked on her sensitive neck, leaving Sam dreamily weak-kneed. Until she felt what could, without a doubt, only be fangs...or very long canine teethwhich she knew Kenyon did not have. Pulling away quickly, she was certain, absolutely certain, that she saw a prominent pair of fangs slide back into Kenyon’s mouth, leaving her usual smile in their place.

“Yes?” Kenyon asked seriously. “Is something wrong?”

Rude though it was, Sam put her thumb into Kenyon’s mouth and ran it along her teeth, staring intently.

“Is this some new way of making love?” Kenyon asked, clearly puzzled. “I have never had anyone do that before.”

“Where are your teeth?”

“Right where they are supposed to be. Are they not?” She put her own thumb up against her teeth and felt across the uppers. “Yes, they seem intact.”

“But...I’m sure I...” Confusedly, Sam shook her head. “I felt something sharp...” She trailed off, noting the gleam of delight on Kenyon’s face.

“I cannot imagine what you mean,” she said, her lopsided grin in place. “Maybe we should kiss again so I can reassure you.” She pulled Sam to her body and kissed her boldly and without hesitation. Breaking apart, she looked at Sam’s fluttering eyelids and asked, “How was that?”

“Divine.” Sam sighed. “I must have been imagining things. I’m very susceptible to suggestion.”

“Is that so?” Kenyon gazed at her wolfishly. “In that case...let me make an altogether improper suggestion. Shall we walk down the street and spend a little time at my house? I have some things there I would love to show you.”

“You do?” Sam asked, having a good idea just what Kenyon wanted to reveal. “I think that could be lovely. You won’t...hurt me...will you?”

“You wound me,” Kenyon said, frowning. “I give you my word as a gentlewoman that I would never pull anyone into my realm...who did not wish to enter.”

“All right then.” She took Kenyon’s proffered hand and they walked out through the back gate, disappearing into the darkness.

Some time later, Gabe approached his friend, Pamela, who was standing in the back yard. “Hey, Pam,” Gabe said, “have you seen Kenyon?”

“Yeah. She left with that flight attendant you told us about. I saw them sneaking out through the back gate.”

“Oh, great! I knew they’d get along. Kenyon’s always ready to descend on a woman who believes in spooks. She was thrilled when I told her about my new friend.” He flexed his hands, making his fingers pop out a couple of times. “Kenyon seems to live for Halloween and Samantha’s wild about it, too.”

“What’s Kenyon doing these days? She’s always seemed pretty aimless.”

Gabe made a vague gesture with his hand. “She’s always been fascinated by carpentry. She’s making furniture, and doing a great job, from what I’ve seen. She has a real knack for it.” He chuckled. “She’s a clever, clever woman. I’ve never known someone who could pick up a skill so effortlessly.”

“I didn’t know that. And now she’s making furniture, huh? Give me her e-mail addy. I’d love to have a piece made for my bedroom.”

“Oh, Kenyon doesn’t have e-mail. Actually, that’s something that’s always puzzled me. For someone who’s so mechanical, she’s completely averse to computers. Odd.”

“That is odd. But she’s always been quirky.”

“True. If you want her to make something for you, just drop by her house. She’s a real night owl. If you want to catch her, be sure to drop by late at night. The later the better.”

“I have a feeling she’s going to be busy tonight,” Pam said, grinning. “I’ll give her a call.”

“No phone,” Gabe said, shrugging. “I’m telling you, she’s a technophobe. But it doesn’t seem to hurt her. She’s got more money than God.”

“Ha! Don’t mention God around Kenyon. If there’s one thing I know about her, it’s that she gets completely freaked out when anyone starts talking about God. She almost fainted when Daphne tried to show her the crucifix that her girlfriend bought for her in Italy.”

“Well, we all have our foibles. Kenyon’s just got more than her share. I only hope that Samantha appreciates her. She’s truly one of a kind.”

“That seems to be true. How long has she lived here, anyway?”

“Well, her family was one of the original owners of a place just down the square, but it was boarded up for years...longer than anyone can recall. The city was threatening to condemn it, and then Kenyon just showed up one day. She’s done a fabulous job of renovating it.”

“Where did she live before?”

“I’m not sure. Somewhere in Georgia, I think. She has quite a few homes. I tell you, she’s ridiculously wealthy.”

“Now all she needs is to see the sun once in a while.”

“Too true! I keep telling her to get out, but she stays up so late she says she can’t get up until late in the day. I tell you, Pam, the rich are different from us. Very different.”

 The End

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