Edgar Hathaway stood at his gas stove and fired up the burner with a wooden match.
“I think a strong cup of coffee is in order after all the excitement of the last couple of days,” he said.
Shaky the cat seemed to be listening as he lifted his head from the bowl of milk.
“There, there, Shaky,” said Edgar. “Things will be back to normal in no time. That dear Madame Tourdo is sending over a housekeeper to help get this place back into shape. I’m afraid I’ve let the old place fall to ruin over the years. I hope slaving away at the typewriter has been worth it."
Now where is that can of coffee? Thought Edgar. I only just put it down.
Edgar had placed the can on top of the pile of newspapers that stood as high as the kitchen sink. Next to the pile of newspapers was its cousin, the pile of magazines, which stood next its brother, the pile of mail, which stood next to its old friend, the pile of flattened cereal boxes - Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, if you must know - and on and on the piles multiplied, snaking their way around every nook and cranny of the ground floor until they had nowhere to go but up the stairs, making themselves at home in the two spare bedrooms and bath, and ending their journey in Edgar’s corner bedroom, where they continue to grow, and now teeter on the brink of a major collapse.
When Edgar heard the knock on the door, he turned sideways and maneuvered his way down the aisles of piles by sucking in his tummy and stepping over Shaky and the bowl of milk.
“Coming!” said Edgar.
“Hello,” said Annie, as Edgar pulled open the front door. “I was told by Madame Tourdo that you were in need of a housekeeper.”
“You might say that,” said Edgar.