Home Sweet Home



Scene Title Home Sweet Home
Synopsis Harry Stoltz is in search of one.
Date May 18, 2019

Phoenix Heights

"As you can see, Mr. Stoltz, the residence remains in excellent condition. Only cosmetic upgrades have been required to modernize the interior."

The real estate agent stands with her hands clasped around the clipboard she carries with her, watching her customer take in the living space with his hands in the pockets of his slacks. The silver thread of his blazer catches the light as he performs a slow turn, scrutinizing the details of the townhome. His head lifts a touch, glancing up at the fixture hanging from the ceiling only in the corner of his eye. After a moment of thought, he smirches his tongue off his palate.

"I think I've seen all I need to here. Let's move on to the next." Harry remarks, the comment offhanded to the point it's misunderstood.

"Very well. The second story—"

"I mean the next brownstone, Nancy," he clarifies in laconic disinterest, turning back to the agent who arches her brow in surprise.

"There's only so many units like this available for private sale; residency in the Safe Zone is still typically assigned by lottery, Mr. Stoltz." Her tone is careful, arm brushing away from her side to gesture further into the home. "Are you sure you'd not like to at least take a look at the rest of the home before moving on?"

Harry presses his lips into a thin, polite smile for her sake. A pause elapses, evidence he was attempting the courtesy of letting her get all her counterargument out before shooting her down. "I know what I'm after," he confirms, one hand sliding from his pocket to gesture vaguely at the whole house. "And this isn't it. I'm fairly certain I made my standards clear when I hired you." With a tip of his head in the direction of the foyer, he indicates, "On to the next, please."

Please. The word comes from him with pretended patience. He had business he needed to begin preparing for.

It's with that same patience he waits outside while she locks up, glancing up at the tree growing in a greenspace between brownstones, listening to it sway. After Nancy is done, Harry follows after her at his own pace, his thoughts seemingly elsewhere in his absent study and judgment of the neighborhood as they head further down the block. Before they reach the realtor's parked car, a dash of color below draws his eye.

"Hm?" he voices down at it like it might notice he's taken notice, or that it might reply at all. He crouches to pick up the black-treaded business card from the ground, turning it face up to get a proper look at the red and black print on the bared white face.

"Oh, that?" Nancy remarks as she looks over the top of her car door. "I've been seeing those everywhere lately. They're trash, best to put it back where it belongs." Then she's dipping inside the parked Audi, the electric engine of it firing up with little more than a whirr.

Harry thumbs the side of the business card, finishing the walk up to the passenger side with drawn-out steps. He lets out a thoughtful tone at the text, and instead of pitching the card back to the concrete, he pockets it for later use. Only then does he open the door and take his seat, reaching across his shoulder to fasten his seatbelt. "This next one is in Williamsburg, correct?" he asks. When he doesn't hear an immediate reply, he glances over at the realtor.

She's watching him with a slightly perplexed expression, hand still on the gearshift. Harry had started smiling. He'd not looked remotely pleased with anything since their correspondence began weeks ago. "Yes," Nancy replies abruptly, as soon as it dawns on her she'd begun to stare. "Is there something the matter, Mr. Stoltz?"

Elbow leaning against the rest made by the door, Harry cradles the side of his face with the curve of his index and thumb, smile becoming more reserved. "I've got a good feeling about this one," he shares. "That's all."

The apparent satisfaction he shows is unexpected, but she's not about to let this sale slip through her fingers. Glancing over her shoulder, the agent shifts the car into reverse.

Once the car takes off, "Harry" watches the block go past with fading interest before drawing the card from his pocket again. Dr. Z, it read. He regards the printed message with a deepening of his smile, and taps it idly on his leg just above his knee. There was something about the card, he thinks to himself. A certain energy.

A chuckle catches itself in the back of his throat.


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