Erika Seetzen-Woods

The Old Miser

Frank was 67 years old and widowed. He was tall and slim. His few remaining strands of hair were carefully combed. He had a thin voice and often cleared his throat before uttering his words, with his Adam’s apple being much in evidence. His grey eyes did not miss anything. He always wore a suit, and his shoes were highly polished. He did not smoke, because money spent in that direction would be better put in his bank, earning interest.

His bank account was very good, but his time with the ladies was at an end, he thought. There were times when he was very depressed.
He was a lay-preacher, telling the congregation about the wickedness of people in this world, but once back at home he was lonely.

Since the arrival of his new lodgers, a young married couple, Frank was beginning to take an interest in his days again.
The young wife, Monica, was in her twenties and very attractive. She was blond, blue-eyed, and had a bubbly personality. Her lovely smile was a tonic. It was a pleasure for Frank to see her. Since the death of his wife there had never been a woman in his house, and Frank was hoping that his loneliness would be at an end.
Monica cleaned the house, did the cooking and his washing, and her husband paid him a good rent; more cash to put in his bank!

Frank could not help looking at Monica. When her husband was away for a few days before Christmas, he bought a cake and a bottle of wine, “Just for you and I, Monica. Maybe we could play some music and have a little dance, because the festive season should be enjoyed!” He also mentioned that men in the army put some bromide in their tea…
Monica made a quick exit to the kitchen and returned with a pot of tea and 2 slices of his cake. Sitting at the table, she made certain that she sat well away from the old man. They held a polite conversation.
In the morning she found the colourful plastic curtains on the kitchen window `floating` in the air over the cooker, which emitted enormous heat and a smell of burning! The silly Frank had left some bacon rashers in the oven and forgot about it! It did not matter to Frank, because Monica’s husband Bill paid for all the electricity used in the house.
The fact that there could have been a fire in the kitchen was not mentioned.

Frank suddenly realized that Monica acted very reserved towards him.
She was not willing to dance with him, listened with little interest to
anything he was trying to tell her, and was only waiting for her husband Bill to return from work with eagerness.
Frank had a feeling of being pushed out of his newly- acquired `family` in his own house!
Since money was his main interest in life, he decided to help himself to some of Monica’s sugar out of her cupboard. He would stay downstairs very late, waiting for the couple to retire to their bedroom; make loud coughing noises whilst opening their food cupboard at the same time, then helping himself to their sugar, stashing the bags in his cupboard…
More money for his bank account!

He had saved a lot of cash years ago, mixing milk with water till it was bluish. His young daughter liked to drink milk. She was never a healthy child and actually died at the age of thirty.
Years ago, when his wife informed him of her second pregnancy, he made her drink strong parsley tea, which resulted in an abortion. “We cannot afford a second child!” he had said. He was thrifty.

Monica was aghast listening to him. Her husband would have to look for other accommodation! She could not stand any more of this! Hopefully his firm would move him before long.

Frank now tried to make the acquaintance of two sisters, who were sitting very close to him in church. He seemed to be interested in Betty, the younger of the two. “They are very well off. Their parents were in business and left them a small fortune! They would not take my money, but might add theirs to mine. I have got to show interest, and invite them to my house. What do you think, Monica?”

On a lovely summer’s day in May the sisters, Betty and Ethel, came to the house. Betty was 58, tall and frumpish, with a perpetual look of distrust on her face. Ethel was 62, of small, plump stature. Both were very old-fashioned and had never married. They looked at Monica with suspicion.

In no time Frank and Betty had become an item.

Monica always wore sleeveless summer dresses, low-cut, and pretty frilly feminine briefs.
Frank insisted that 58-year-old Betty should wear what 25-year-old Monica wore.
He even took Betty to the washing line, to show her Monica’s pretty lingerie!
Betty started to behave like a young girl, giggling, jumping about, and wearing sleeveless dresses, which did not enhance her bony arms.
Her older sister Ethel was most annoyed and Monica very embarrassed.
Betty purchased frilly knickers, hanging these on the line in Frank’s garden, with Ethel shrieking her disapproval,” what will the neighbours think!”

Frank was a miser, a hypocrite, and he managed to marry the spinster with money. He took away the mantel clock, which he had presented Monica with for looking after the house, and gave it to his bride Betty.
Some Miser!

Copyright Erika Seetzen-Woods

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