01-15-2012, 01:36 AM
Barricade Books, Inc. Springs broke into the biggest smile since he won the trifecta at Belmont back in fifty-three. "Hey, Cassie!" he shouted. "Hey! Guess what? I'm an author!"
10075 E. Washington Ave.
Dear Mr. Springer:
We have reviewed your manuscript for The Guys of Glitter Gulch, and we are pleased to offer to publish your work. Yours is the first detailed account of the notorious Piccucci Affair, as well as an insightful look into the world of post-war Las Vegas.
Please contact our offices as soon as possible to negotiate a contract. You can telephone us at 1-800-555-4321, ext 112. You can also email me at email@example.com.
Again, congratulations, and best wishes for future success.
Carl Barron, Editor.
Casey and Sharon entered the study together. "What's going on, Mr. Springer?" Casey asked.
Springs held up the letter. "Here, read this," he said proudly. "They're gonna print my book!"
Sharon took the letter and read it. "That's wonderful, Mr. Springer," she said, smiling. "Congratulations!"
Springs leaned back, satisifed. "Yeah, how about that," he mused. "Me, an author." Suddenly, he sat up. "Hey, we should go out and celebrate! Dinner on me, the three of us--how about it, Cassie?"
"It's Casey, Mr. Springer," she reminded him. "And it sounds like fun."
"It'd be good to go out to somewhere nice for a change," Sharon agreed.
Springs nodded. "Great, then it's settled. I know a good place where they have the best damn prime rib in Vegas--right at the Luxor Hotel! Damn good Manhattans, too. What the hell is it called? Uh, Mangino's?"
"Mangiano's" Casey said.
"Yeah, that's the place! Hey, Cassie, you get on the horn and make reservations for three."
"It's Casey, Mr. Springer."
"Whatever, just make the damn reservations!" Springs said. "Me, I gotta get myself a shower and a shave." He turned to Sharon. "Get yourself dolled, sweetheart! You and me are steppin' out tonight! You and Cassie, that is."
"It's Casey, not Cassie, Mr. Springer," Sharon reminded him.
Sharon could only shake her head in exasperation. Casey called to make reservations for three at Mangiano's at the Luxor over the phone. The operator put her on hold, forcing her to listen to recorded messages detailing the shows and other events the Luxor Hotel and Resort had to offer, interrupted by the standard voicemail message: "We're sorry for the inconvenience. Please continue to hold, and someone will be with you momentarily. Thank you."
After the third cycle of mechanical apologies, creepy music began to play over the receiver. "Come experience the surreal world of BELIEVE, starring famous illusionist Criss Angel, performing with Cirque de Soleil, in a fantastic meld of fantasy and magic! Now showing at the Luxor Hotel. For showtimes, press one. To purchase tickets, press two. For--"
"Magiano's, may I help you?" a woman's voice interrupted.
Casey was startled at first, then composed herself. "Yes, I'd like to make a reservation for three around six PM tonight, if that's possible."
"One moment, please." A minute of silence followed, then the woman confirmed the reservation: party of three, six PM. Casey thanked her and hung up. She couldn't help but wonder if she would see Criss again. True, he was busy with his show, but one never knew...
The front doorbell chimes shook her out of her thoughts. She heard her mother answer the door, so she rose to go to her room to get ready for Springs' dinner engagement, not giving it a second thought. She decided to wear her favorite lavender dress, the one with the bolero jacket that she seldom wore due to her work schedule, past and present. Happily, she opened the closet and took out the dress, along with her faded black dress shoes, scuffed but still presentable, and her little black evening purse she had bought for a friend's wedding six years ago. A quick shower, fix her hair, and she'd be good to go. It felt good to dress up for a change, she thought. In her joy, she did not notice her mother standing in the doorway, clutching some legal looking forms, her face ashen.
"Casey?" Sharon spoke as if from a distance.
Casey did not look up, but continued preparing for dinner. "Yeah, Mom, what do you need?" she replied absently.
"Casey?" her mother repeated in a tremorous voice.
This time, Casey did look up. "Mom? Is something wrong?"
Sharon swayed like a reed in a breeze. "We got this summons," she said, still reeling from the shock. "Your father is suing us."
Casey's jaw dropped. "Suing us?" she echoed in disbelief. "What for?"
"For the estate money," Sharon replied. "He wants nine million dollars."
The blissful feeling Casey felt was gone, anger taking its place. "He can't do that!" she stormed. "I don't have nine million dollars! None of us do! Hell, I haven't even received my share of the estate yet, and now he's suing us?"
"I'm afraid so," Sharon said.
Casey sank down on the bed. "What am I going to do, Mom?" she wailed. "Ever since Mr. Piccucci died and made me his heir, I've had nothing but trouble ever since! I got death threats, bomb threats, I almost got shot, and now my own father is suing me! Dear God, what am I going to do?"
Sharon sat down beside her daughter. "We're going to get dressed and go out to dinner with Mr. Springer, that's what we're going to do," she said firmly. "And don't worry about a thing--I'll handle your father."
Casey sighed. "Thanks, Mom." she said, trying to smile. "You're the greatest."
Sharon hugged her daughter by the shoulders. "Don't get too upset about this, hon," she said. "Everything's gonna work out just fine." She turned to face Casey directly. "But don't breathe a word of this to Mr. Springer," she ordered. "At least, not for now. He just landed a book deal, and we don't want to rain on his parade, now, do we?"
Casey shook her head. "I promise, Mom," she said. "I don't want to ruin Mr. Springer's celebration."
Sharon kissed Casey's forehead. "Now, you get ready," she said. "We don't want to be late."
Casey nodded. As soon as her mother left the bedroom, she went into the bathroom to shower. She was glad that Mr. Springer got his book published, but after the buzzkill of the summons her father had sent, she didn't feel much like celebrating anything.