Please enjoy this scene from the comic mystery novel RED HOT PROPERTY where rookie real estate agent Molly O'Malley shows property to a wacky New Age couple!
Charles and Leah Wacker were, well, wacky. He owned a health food store and she was a psychologist. Their three children, Kachina, Athena, and Thor, were wild demon trolls from hell.
One of the first things Molly had learned about showing property was that, as a matter of security, she should not allow her clients to see the lockbox code to the house. So, instead of writing the combinations down literally she scribbled the phrase the showing secretaries always gave to clarify the codes. Almost all the combinations, it seemed, were acronyms. Molly was on her knees at the front door of one of Ted Borgman's listings, and she was struggling to open the lockbox. The phrase she had scrawled across the top of the showing sheet was Seven of Nine, for SON. The box was rusty and wouldn't open, even though she shook and inverted it.
Thor was hovering over her left shoulder being nosey. "It says seven of nine, stupid. This lockbox has letters. You sure are stupid."
"We don't say stupid, Thor," Leah said. "We say differently logical."
"Airhead! Airhead!" Kachina and Athena chanted in unison.
"We don't say airhead, we say cerebro-atmospherical."
Everyone turned and stared at Leah for a few moments.
Charles offered Molly an open bag of chocolates. "Take one. It'll help with the stress. They're made from free-range cocoa beans."
Molly hesitated a moment too long while she was trying to process his words, and the children grabbed for the bag, which sent the chocolate bits flying. While everyone else scrambled to collect them, Molly managed to get the lockbox to cooperate, and she opened the front door.
The showing instructions had said there was a puppy inside, and it shouldn't be let out. As they stepped inside, a large, lanky Great Dane charged Molly, and when she lunged for it she tripped, fell, and cracked her head on the doorjamb. For a few moments, Molly swam in darkness, but was called back by Leah's intense voice.
"Whatever you do, do not go toward the light!"
Charles helped Molly to her feet. She tried to focus her mind through the pain. "The puppy. Where's the puppy?"
"Escaped this messy place," Kachina said.
"Nontraditionally ordered," Leah corrected.
"We weren't supposed to let him out," Molly mumbled, stumbling out to the porch. She spied the wayward creature in the neighbor's yard. A free-range cocoa bean candy lay unclaimed at Molly's feet. She picked it up and tried to lure the creature back. In a blur of motion, the dog raced to Molly and snatched the chocolate from her outstretched hand. Molly pretended to throw another piece deep into the house, and the dog raced inside. Molly slammed the door shut just as the ruse was discovered and the creature charged the door again.
"That looks more like a teenage dog than a puppy dog," Charles said.
"A juvenile delinquent if you ask me," Molly muttered.
Leah opened her mouth to correct her, but Molly's defiant glare apparently caused her to think better of it.
"Do you know anything about how strict the covenants are in this subdivision?" Leah asked.
"No, but I can get a copy of them for you before you make an offer."
"One of our customers at the store said the penalty for breaking the rules around here is death," Charles said.
"Um, well, I haven't heard that." Molly couldn't imagine this family complying with anyone else's rules. "Perhaps we should look in some subdivisions without covenants. Some of the older neighborhoods—"
"We don't want to live among the economically marginalized."
The children began chasing the dog through the house, screaming and shouting merrily. Molly was scared they were going to do damage. "The children really should stay with us."
Charles and Leah were admiring the different species of "botanical companions" that graced the home and paid no attention to her.
Molly tried again. "I'm worried the children might break something."
Leah dug into Charles' coat pocket, pulled out the bag of candy, and offered some to Molly. "Chocolate stimulates endorphins. It will help you relax."
"I'd really prefer some Xanax." Molly had never taken the anti-anxiety drug, but it suddenly seemed appealing.
Leah blinked. "I left my bottle at home."
Shrieks and a worrisome crash sounded from some distant place.
"Children, dog, come!" Molly shouted above the ruckus.
Shrill squeals answered her command and Molly heard them charging up the stairs. The thunder came to an abrupt halt directly overhead. The silence was so total that an eerie feeling filled Molly. It was as if an entire squadron of roaring planes had suddenly disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle.
Charles and Leah looked at Molly questioningly.
"Are you okay?" Molly shouted up the stairs.
There was no reply.
Molly, Charles, and Leah crept up the stairs.
The three children stood in the doorway of a loft that had been converted into an office. Inside the office, the dog sniffed the body of a man slumped across a desk, his cheek resting on the computer keyboard. His eyes were wide open. Molly eased herself past the children and took a closer look. She had seen dead before and this was it. She felt his throat for a pulse.
Leah's voice suddenly didn’t seem so strong. "Is he terminally inconvenienced?"
Molly nodded. "He must have violated the covenants."