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The Lawyer, The Ghost and the Cursed Chair

Author(s): Ruth Sims

Short Story

Lawyer H.L. Snodgrass has it all: a successful practice, a devoted wife and a passionate boyfriend. When he decides to sell off a family heirloom, his cozy life takes a drastic turn for the worst. Now, he and the ghost of his great-great-great grandfather have to get it back before a Gypsy curse destroys everything! Add in a furry junk dealer and a nun in jail and you've got trouble!


Time and Age. They make bottoms sag, legs shake, and arms wobble. Every time the old chair was moved it left a trail of little Hansel-and-Gretel tufts of ancient gray stuffing. In the world of furniture it had once been a duchess. Now it was a bag lady.

H.L. (Horatio Lamar) Snodgrass IV never gave the old chair another thought after he placed it in the storage room of his office to await the junk man. He was too busy sniffing and stroking its replacement, experiencing almost orgasmic pleasure in the smell and feel of the tall-backed chair made from the hides of Pamplona fighting bulls, a chair fit for a king. Or a damn good lawyer. He was the best. When he spoke judges melted. When he spoke Justice took off her blindfold, winked, and hiked her skirt to the thigh.

His clothes were custom made. One car was foreign and expensive. Another was American and expensive. His favorite was old, low-slung, and expensive. His wife, who was visiting the baccarat tables and roulette wheels in Las Vegas, was petite and expensive. Larry, his long-time boyfriend, was not petite in any way, and less expensive than his wife.

A series of bone-shattering blows against the door interrupted his thoughts. Normally he would have let his secretary answer the door, but since this was Saturday she was not there.

On his way to the door, H.L. had to pass the time-faded oil portrait of his Great-great-great Grandfather, Hawkins Forsythe Snodgrass, and he felt a brief twinge of conscience. After all, the old fellow had brought the chair from England generations ago. Hawkins had been a famous barrister in his homeland and he became more famous in his adopted country. Part of his fame was due to the eccentricity of never abandoning the English wig and robe even after becoming an American citizen. Hawkins was the founder of six generations of Snodgrass lawyers, each more successful and richer than the last.

Perhaps, H.L. thought, I should keep the chair as a memento...but what the hell.

The explosive knock came again. H.L. opened the door and came eye-to-Adams-apple with a hulking individual who sported a turned-about Chicago Cubs cap and a bushy beard. A fine gold chain led from the gold hoop in his left nostril to a large gold hoop in his left earlobe. His shirt was unbuttoned to the waist and a gold skull on a chain glinted upon a chest of black fur that a grizzly bear would have envied. Clamped between his teeth was a cigar that, judging from the smell, had been made from a mixture of rotten eggs and old rags.

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ISBN (Print):
ISBN (Electronic): 978-1-4524-0250-5
Genre: Contemporary
Date Published: 03/10/2010
Publisher: Untreed Reads

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