The house smelled like cat urine and mildew. The estate sale had been picked through pretty thoroughly. She could tell they might have found something of a treasure … a steal … if only they’d come to this one first. But it wasn’t a video game, she reminded herself, and there was no level up or missed easter egg.
She found an old pencil sharpener like what she remembered from grade school – the kind that had a rubber bottom and a lever so you could “seal” it to the flat surface. One dollar – it was marked. And the wall map of the continental united states rolled up next to it was only a quarter. “What are the odds of that?” she thought. She found Grady and rambled around behind her, keeping her finds well in sight of whomever might be in charge of sales. She didn’t know why, but she always felt worried about that – like someone was going to run after her and firmly say, “Excuse me – but you have to pay for that.” She’d had people crowd around her half naked body with flashlights before, but somehow this scenario seemed even more mortifying than that. Ironic.”Look at this. I love this…” Grady said. She motioned to a appalling rendition of an upturned hand. The sculpture was done in white mortar or plaster and was grossly disproportionate. She didn’t respond, didn’t make a face. “Only I think it would be nice if it were your hand.” Grady smiled sweetly and reached to stroke her arm. A wave of emotion rolled from Malone’s gut and prickled the hair on her head. Damn, she loved this woman.