Easy to Show

by Kristin Fouquet

           Hilda Ledet entered a Greek Revival mansion on Coliseum Street. In the foyer, she tried to sigh, but the corset underneath her tailored suit restricted deep breathing.

“3.9 million dollars,” she whispered to the window.

            Absently, she fondled the silk drapery while calculating what her commission would be.

A red sports car stopped in front. Hilda was relieved he was alone. She watched him loosen his tie.

Opening the door, she smiled. “Mr. Sontheim.”

“Ms. Ledet.” He extended his hand. “So, this is it.”

“Yes.” Motioning with her head, she said, “The magnificent double parlor is to the right here.”

He interrupted, “Five bedrooms?”

“Would you like to see them?”

He smirked. “That's why I'm here.”

section break

Raising her legs and crossing her ankles, Hilda's snakeskin pumps touched the mahogany desk. Her leather chair creaked as she leaned back. She twirled a fountain pen with her fingers as she waited to hear his voice.

“Hello, Ms. Ledet.”

“Hi, Mr. Sontheim. I was calling to follow up on the Coliseum residence.”

“Ah, I've given it some thought. I think it's more than I need at this time. I put a little something in the mail for you to show my appreciation though.”

“How thoughtful. Please let me know if you'd like to see anything else. I represent many properties and I always go the extra mile for my clients.”

 “I'm aware of that. I'll be calling you later in the week.”

“Thank you, Mr. Sontheim.”

section break

The picturesque Italianate on First was furnished with Victorian antiques. Hilda escorted a well dressed professional through the dining room.

She touched the marble fireplace. “It's in working order along with the other seven throughout the home.”

He nodded to the beveled mirror above the mantel then caught her dark eyes.

“My wife's mind is made up, but I needed to be certain. I'm sure you could convince me to buy.”

            Wrapping a strand of black hair behind her ear, she said, “Well, that's it for the first floor. Shall we go up?”

“After you.”

section break

Cruising down Canal Street in her convertible, Hilda was elated. There was nothing like the thrill of a closing. Seeing her billboard she stopped short, the brakes screeched. Horrified, her jaw dropped. It read Elitist Realty's Top Agent Hilda Ledet Goes the Extra Mile for Her Clients, but the photograph of her smiling face was obscured by a crude drawing of a penis and the spray painted words Hilda Gives Good Head.

Not sure whom to call first, she squeezed her cell phone in frustration. As she contemplated how long it would take to put a new billboard up, a horn went off. To her surprise, a handsome man in a luxury car pulled alongside hers. Window down, he pointed to the billboard. “I'm going to call you tomorrow. I need to buy a string of corporate condos.”

Hilda quickly summed up the commission on a succession of condos. Releasing her phone, she decided the billboard could stay as is.