"Twixt 3 & 4"

“Twixt 3 & 4”

A Short Story

By Gentile

———

They’d been “arguing” about money as they were apt to do. At a much earlier time the back and forth was for certain and intended.

He’d not made their fortune.

She’d judged her husband that he would.

Fortune made he could and would never get past The Crash and subsequent conflagration as 1929 turned into a decade of suffering the magnitude quite immeasurable. He’d tried to explain his belief and fears, but, she did not understand. She’d been born to unaffected privilege.

“Doll, you worry too much.”

“Kay.” As he folded The Wall Street Journal.

But, she’d walked away. The stores patiently waiting her arrival, their checkbook in her Rodeo Drive handbag.

———

It happened twixt Season 3 and Season 4.

“Buddy-boy, what’s the matter?”

Mister Ed queried his owner as Wilbur Post entered their shared space of stable and office.

Ed had heard the sirens and seen the ambulance arrive, then watched yet another extra long vehicle depart hours later in total silence. Something or other “Mortuary” printed on the side.

Wilbur had been crying.

“Addison, he is dead.”

Ed only knew death in the abstract of production parameters and entertainment value. This, this was not that.

“I’m sorry, Wilbur. What happened?”

Ed’s tone caused Wilbur to stagger a bit. He’d expected different, a side of himself, a side he did not care for believed Ed would slough it off with jocularity about a “vinegar puss.”

“He was sitting with Kay, Ed, and fell over on the couch. He’s gone. He’s just gone. Carol is with Kay, Ed, they’re crying.”

“I have an idea, Wilbur.”

“What, Ed?”

“How bout I pick us each an Addison apple? It would be a tribute to your friend, Wilbur. Addison always looked after you and the girl.”

Of course the horse had been forbidden to pick anymore of Addison’s pride and joy apple crop and the horse had adhered to that steady course, more or less. That unsavory episode nearly caused the horse to report Wilbur Post to the ASPCA, but, cooler heads had prevailed and peace and tranquility was restored to both the Post household and that of the Addison’s. Mister Ed longed for an Addison, but, had stayed vigilant and out of Addison’s apple tree, like I said: more or less.

Wilbur: “C’mon, boy, let’s go.”

Apples chosen and picked they took station back in their barn and each enjoyed their apple and it’s tribute.

“Remember the time he caught me in that bed I ordered over the phone?”

Wilbur had given his horse a stern talking to that time. Addison thought him deeply disturbed at the sight of the darn horse pulling the sheets and blankets up over his prone body.

But, Ed had come right back over the top: “Holler, but, like don’t hit.” And: “Wilbur, I’m only 7-years-old. I’m just a k**.”

Heartily they shared their remembrances of Wilbur’s dearest friend and Ed’s provocateur. Their laughter melting away for just a moment the pain of total loss.