The Walls Of The Blue House

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Commercial Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Danny has always been a no good scam artists. He thinks the worst of the rich people and aspires to take their wealth. But it only takes one man to change another man. Do bad habits really die hard?

Submitted: September 06, 2012

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Submitted: September 06, 2012

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The Walls of the Blue House

A Short Story By Zac Jonathan

Danny was your average crook. Raised in Philadelphia, Danny had a rough childhood. With his dad locked up and his mom constantly on the streets, Danny was forced to drop out of school in ninth grade and fend for himself. He constantly stole or scammed for money; it was through this that he acquired a great skill for math.

 

“So here’s the gimmick, you get a fancy suit, put a smile on your face, and you sell these fake software systems to people.” Said Danny.

“Software?  How’s accounting software going to make any money, we’ll have to sell a billion of these.” Mike proclaimed.

“ It’s simple, they enter their account information, send it off to us, and we have full access to the money of the richest snobs in all of southern Philadelphia. Now let’s go make money.” Danny said as he walked out the door.

Danny walked throughout all of Philadelphia, in the richest of neighborhoods. With no sales, hours of walking, and low energy Danny became frustrated. With a storm nearing in an hour’s time, Danny became frantic to make a sale. Danny had reached the end of the block, with only one house left, Danny felt discouraged.

“I know these rich snobs have money to give, why are they so stuck up!” Danny protested in anger.

Danny reached the end. His lost house was a three story, blue, suburban mega-home. As he entered the porch of the blue house, he saw the most superior porch furnishing, a beautiful garden accompanied by the loveliest of palm trees. He approached the castle-like door and he knocked. In a moments time an unusual individual approached the door, dressed in sweat pants and a v-neck t-shirt.

“He…Hello my name is Daniel Brodrick and I’m a team member of Philadelphia’s newest accounting company. As a part of our grand opening sale, I would be pleased to interest you in our newest edition tax software for only thirty dollars-”

“Oh!” Danny was cut short. “I think another one of your team members came by. His name was Mike! I’ve already purchased a copy.” The man said, as an abrupt thunderstorm erupted over their heads.

“Well I assure you, you will be please with our products!” Danny stated.

An awkward moment of silence ensued as a storm raged on over the men’s heads.

“It’s quite the storm going on out there, I don’t think it’s safe to be outside like this. Would you like to come inside until the storm passes?” asked the cheerful man.

“Well I would hate to impose on a Sunday afternoon like this, I’m sure I’ll be-”

“Oh please Daniel, I insist!” the man said as he brought Danny into is home.

Danny walked into the largest living room he had seen in a long time. The software package sat on a coffee table in front of the grandest of all sofas. He gazed upon the walls filled with memorabilia and grand paintings.

“I…like that poster you have there.” Danny pointed out.

“Oh yes! That is from the peace act of the 1960’s, it played such a large role in my life, I  just had to have an original poster.”

“Yeah it’s nice.” Danny said as they walked into another room past the kitchen. This room was filled with all sorts of family pictures. There was not a picture without smiles. There had to be at least twenty family pictures. There was one picture, however, that seemed to be of most importance. It was a large picture, hung above a magnificent fireplace. In the picture, an older woman sat on an ocean-side porch. The picture filled the room with a sense of security and love.

“Is that your mother?” asked Danny.

“Above the fireplace? Yep, that’s her.” The man said with a touch of emotion in his voice.

“She seems….calm. Happy.”

“She was. The woman was a saint. She devoted her life to helping others, no matter the cost to herself. She passed away on an orphan missionary in Libya. This is the only picture I have of her.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. It was a life well spent.” The man said struggling to keep himself from revealing emotions.

The two men walked down a staircase made of the finest wood around into the storm shelter. For the first time Danny had felt compassion for a man he did not know. But why?

The men entered a large storm shelter beneath the house.

“Could I get you a water?” asked the man.

“Sure, I’ll take a water.”

“I’m Connor, by the way.” The man said as he handed Danny a cold water.

“I’m Danny”

“I know. You told me.”

They sat in silence as a storm raged on outside of the cellar. Both men remained quiet for what seemed to be an eternity.

“What was it like? Having a mom in your life?” Danny asked out of the blue.

With a sense of curiosity Connor answered.

“Well….It was fine I guess. It was… Well… I’m not sure. It didn’t seem like anything. It seemed normal. It was normal. I knew no other lifestyle. Why? What was your childhood like?

“Childhood? I didn’t have one. My dad has been locked up since I was four and for my entire life my mom’s never been an avid role in my life. She preferred to be on the streets, high.” Danny answered with sorrow.

“Oh. I had no idea. I’m sorry. How did you survive? How did you manage?”

“I grew up in a rough area. I robbed, I scammed, I had to eat. I had to live.” Danny replied.

“You should be proud of yourself. Not many people can get out of that situation, and get a job that takes so much skill like an accountant. Just because you had a bad past doesn’t mean you can’t have a good future. You’re on the right track” Connor said in an attempt to ease Danny’s pain.

They sat in a moment of silence. Danny sat and contemplated his life up to this time. He had achieved nothing. He had won nothing. He has always meant nothing. In a life changing moment Danny spoke.

“No. I haven’t changed, I’m not out of that situation, I’m not better. I’m still that angry crook the day I was my father left us. I’m sorry Connor. I have to go.”

As Danny left abruptly through the shelter, the storm had passed. Danny passed through the house, grabbing the software scam and leaving with it. Danny walked out of the neighborhood and out of sight.


*****

 

It had been twenty six years since their encounter. Connor received a letter in his mail addressed from University Park, Pennsylvania, 16802. Connor knew this address as Pennsylvania State University. The letter read:

Hello Connor. My name is Daniel Brodrick, I met you twenty six years ago during a stormy Sunday afternoon. During our encounter I scammed you out of thirty dollars when I abruptly left your home with a scam software. I would like to officially apologize for my actions. I will see you soon Connor.

-Daniel Brodrick Ph.D

 

 

The envelope contained thirty dollars. Connor smiled as he recalled his memories of Daniel.

Next week, a man dressed in black loafers, black khakis, a blue button-up shirt with a black tie. A child around twelve years old answered the door. Puzzled, Daniel spoke.

“Does a man named Connor live here”

“Dad! Door!” spoke the child as he walked away.

Moments later an ecstatic Connor answered the door.

“Daniel!?” Connor said in awe of the clean-cut man standing at his door.

“I’m out of that situation.” He spoke.

The two men walked into the house. The house was the same as it was twenty six years ago. They took time to catch up. Connor had since married and had two children.

“So how have you been?” asked Connor.

“Well to start, I got a Ph.D in mathematics at Penn State. I’m a professor now. I’ve moved into a two story house a mile from here, and I got married as well.” An accomplished Danny said.

A look of awe came over Connor’s face. The men talked for over an hour. They learned more about each other then they did the last time they met. They became true friends. Before leaving, Connor had a departing gift.

“Here, this is for you.” Connor handed Daniel a large piece of paper rolled into a tube.

Daniel un rolled the poster. It was the same poster that hung on Connor’s wall for over twenty six years. The poster that impacted Connor so much, that had also impacted Daniel. The peace propaganda poster was more than a piece of paper. It signified the changing moment in Daniel’s life.

Over the next years Connor and Daniel saw each other frequently. The one thing that lasted between them was the poster, and its impact on both of their lives. It read: "Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal."


© Copyright 2017 Zac Jonathan. All rights reserved.

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