The Beginning... The Man Appears


The Beginning The Man Appears

So who is he?

I don t know, he wasn t around when we were doing the work.

Who was the foreman on it?

Some guy named Frank, I haven t seen him since we finished up.

What all work did he have done?

Well, I was just doing the plumbing and heating subcontracting . I don t know everything that was done. It wasn t a lot, just some specific things. I did the pipe from the garage to the basement, for the electrical work you did. We put in a good- sized A/C unit in the back, they had a new slab poured for that. The ducts only ran through the basement , though.

Just in the basement?

Yeah, they had roughed out a couple of store rooms down there. Maybe he s going to do food storage or something? Yeah, he s probably some kind survivalist.

I think you re probably right. Did you see the generator they had me wire up? And the gas tank?

Yeah, I guess his house isn t going to go dark any time soon.

Well, the breakers driven from that gen only drive circuits in the basement, though. Hey, I bet he s going to put in some freezers or something! Maybe he s a hunter?

Heck, he could go after bear with that setup if he wanted. If he could drag it down the back stairs into the basement, he d have enough juice to keep bear meat for a year, ha.

Hey, I think I met him.

Met who?

The guy with the generator.

Really? Who is he?

I dunno , some old rich guy.

Rich, how do you know he s rich?

Sara said the property was paid for in cash.

Cash? You mean he pulled up with a suitcase full of money, and just bought it?

No, not ˜cash , but it was paid for with a cashier s check. She said the escrow didn t include a mortgage company. No one showed up to do the papers either, all in the mail.

Dang. How much was the place?

About 300 grand, not counting the work we did. I figure he put about $350,000 into the place.

Well where did you meet him? He a nice guy?

Dunno, he didn t say much. Just kinda did his business and left.

What business?

Well, he came into the shop for some welding supplies . An acetylene torch, too. Paid cash, about $600 worth.

What s he going to weld?

Says steel . He had a bunch of sheets in the back of a new pickup.

Hey, is he going to armor plate that place, or what? Heh.

He doesn t have near enough for that, maybe a room.

He must be going to build that walk-in-freezer after all. What s he look like? Have I seen him?

Maybe. He looks like maybe 50, short grey hair, buzz cut. Maybe 6 foot , built. Looks like he must ve been military at some point.

I think I ve seen him at the grocery store.

Hey, I was talking to Tom the other day about the nutcase in the woods. He was telling me how much wire they had to pull to that guy s place for phones and stuff. That guy has more Internet than the rest of the town!

No kidding? What does he want all that for?

Don t know. Tom says he s some kind of day trader , and can t miss a trading day, so he s got all this extra stuff so he can always make the stock trades, or something.

Well, that s cool. I wouldn t mind doing stock trading for a living, if I had some money to start off with.

You don t know anything about the stock market!

Well I d learn before I started, wouldn t I? What time do the stock markets open up?

About 6.

Well, forget that then. Still, if that s what you do, you can t play around. If you need to spend an extra hundred bucks for another line, those guys can lose like that much in a minute.

Try like 15 hundred.

What?

Tom says he s got like $1,500 worth of circuits to his house per month.

Have you seen him lately? He s been growing a beard, and he s lost a bunch of weight.

Yeah, he s not looking so great. Gretchen at the grocery store says that he just buys the same stuff every week, just the same bread, bottled water, cans of soup and stuff.

Why would someone with that kind of money do like that? If I had money to waste, you can bet I d be eating out every night.

Yeah, me too. You know what we got?

What?

We ve got our own local Howard Hughes.