Perking the Pansies
Jack and Liam move to Turkey

Ave Maria

This is a preview to the chapter Ave Maria from the book Perking the Pansies by Jack Scott.
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There was a persistent and impatient rap at the door. I had just stepped out of the shower. Dressed in a slack cerise dressing gown and Mickey Mouse slippers, I shuffled down the hallway, praying that Liam had mislaid his keys again.
“Oh. Colin. What’s up?”
“You didn’t tell me you were selling your house.” “Didn’t I?”
“Is there a problem?” “You are then?” “Yes.”
Colin twitched and looked me up and down. “Am I interrupting something, Jack?”
“No. Why?”
“You’re wet.”
“That’s generally what happens when you take a shower.” He gawked at my slippers.
“You like?” I said. “Look, would you like to come in?” Colin was an easy neighbour but had perfected the art of calling at the most inconvenient times. As usual he was neatly dressed in Marks and Sparks knitwear, brown corduroy trousers and tan Hush Puppies. Horn-rimmed spectacles perched precariously on the end of a lumpy nose, and he was clutching a bulging continental purse. I was fluffy-robed, knicker-less and vulnerable.
“I’ll just make myself decent.”
“No need, I’ll be quick.” Colin swept into the dining room, sat cross-legged at the table and adjusted his hearing-aid.
“Look, Jack, I’ll come straight to the point. How much do you want for the house?”
“You want to buy my house?”
“Yes. In cash.”
“In cash? You want to buy my house in cash? I’ll make some tea.”
I beat a retreat to the kitchen. I needed thinking time. Had this upstanding, tee-total, retired accountant finally lost his immaculately arranged marbles and hit the sauce? Why did he want this house so badly? I re-tied the sash around my robe; this was no time for a Basic Instinct moment. This was time for a big bucks moment. Be calm, Jack. Be civilised. Be mercenary.
“Sugar, Colin?”
“Just milk.”
“How’s work?”
“Fine. Look Jack, let’s get this sorted.”
Then it happened, the first phase of an unstoppable chain reaction. Following a ridiculously brief, matter of fact but amicable negotiation, we agreed a price for the house. Colin didn’t want a survey and wasn’t prepared to waste money on a solicitor either. He was a loony buyer and I really didn’t care why. He unzipped his purse and retrieved a monogrammed cheque book holder and inset fountain pen. “I’ll give you a deposit now.”
“It’s fine, Colin, I trust you. We’re agreed. The house is
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