Orlick Miller and Company:
Excerpt from a Novel in Progress
BY DAY it was substandard candy, by night women, one his business, the other his calling. Those walleyes of his missed nothing, caught all: melted chocolate given new body in a freezer, a face patted into nice shape by beauticians or plastic surgeons, a false business statement, an old maid shprintzed up with assets. Respiration and color in the cheeks didn’t fool Orlick Miller: he could foretell death in the ones who seemed healthy and thriving. Businessmen shivered to see him pass their candy stores: it meant they were in sadder shape than they had pleaded was the truth to fund raisers. Aged fathers and mothers knew the worst about unmarried children when tiny Orlick passed their way on his night calls.
So it was with the Novarovs when they responded to the rapping on the front door late, late this evening. What pounding! Full of fury, urgency, a fireman’s fist, or a policeman’s, rattling the old hinges. Sam Novarov sprang to the door, smelling smoke.
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