Donald and Mitchell went wandering through the halls of the big house, touring the rooms and talking about redecorating. They were followed by Andrea, who was frantically tapping out notes on her phone as Donald announced the changes he wanted.
‘First, we do something about all these boring, boring cream walls,’ declared Donald, making his famous double-pinch gesture. ‘Gold wallpaper with black pinstripes would look tremendous, just tremendous.’
Mitchell smiled his lipless, chinless smile, and nodded slowly, his beady eyes peeing over the top of his glasses. ‘Sure, Donald’, he replied in a reassuring tone, ‘I’d be surprised if we can’t do that.’
‘These paintings are very, very bad’, waving at portraits of Kennedy and Lincoln. ‘We need something more energetic and classy. Everyone thinks Rossetti is great.’ Behind them, Andrea made a quick note to look up Rossetti, having never heard of the Pre-Raphaelites.
‘Oh, absolutely, Donald,’ agreed Mitchell, who knew Rossetti, but secretly preferred N.C. Wyeth. He glanced back at Andrea, knowingly.
‘Then I think we need a sign outside the House. Something bold with lots of stainless steel. We want everyone to know who lives here now.’ Donald was really warming to the task. ‘A lot of people are saying it needs more gold trim.’
‘Well, I think that’s interesting,’ Mitchell crooned, raising the part of his face that should have contained a chin. ‘I’m sure no one will mind.’
‘We’re going to have the best looking house. You won’t believe the plans I have for this place. You don’t even know how many great plans I have. People are going to come from everywhere to see this house.’ Donald was hyperventilating a little now, pulling air in through his nose with a series of short, noisy sniffs.
Andrea looked up in concern, wondering if she should offer Donald a tissue or call a medic or something. Mitchell look back at her, baring his tiny teeth. Andrea was alarmed until she realized it was meant to be a smile.
‘It sounds very impressive, Donald. I can’t think of any reason why you shouldn’t go ahead with it.’ Mitchell put his hand on Donald’s shoulder, earning a stern look of disapproval from the taller man. The glared at each other in silent confrontation, jowls quivering with unspoken tension. Then Mitchel broke the awkward moment by recalling, ‘Oh, don’t you have that meeting with the Mike and the judges?’
‘Yes, I do’, Donald responded with a little twitch, as if waking from an unpleasant dream. ‘They won’t believe how great that meeting will be, absolutely the biggest, best meeting.’
‘Good, good, Well, I’d better let you go, then.’ Mitchell showed his teeth again for a moment, and Donald turned abruptly and stalked down the hallway, glowering at the wainscoting.
Once Donald had turned the corner, Mitchell took Andrea’s phone to examine her notes. With surprising quickness, he went through Donald’s list of ideas and summarily deleted all but one them. He handed the phone back to a stunned Andrea and turned to leave.
‘He can have one Rossetti.’, Mitchell told her, showing neither teeth or kindness, and left her in the empty house.