The gate opened, allowing the stretch limo to glide smoothly past without slowing. From inside the tinted windows, the sculptures of colored glass and lighting paraded by to the exclamations of delight from the younger passengers. In the forward-facing seat in the rear, Ellen took her husband's hand in a gesture of pride and affection.
"Daddy!" Bianca asked. "Did you really build all this?"
Marty chuckled as he tried to explain his role to his four daughters again.
"What I did was to organize the investing that made this possible," he said to the seven year-old.
"But you don't have a vest," Gisele pointed out as she sought to dismantle one of those long and confusing words that grown-ups like to toss about. "So you can't put stuff in a vest."
"You think they would teach kindergartners about investing," Ellen said with bemusement as their youngest turned her attention back to the crystalline wonders of Harbor Crest.
What had been a decaying stretch of riverfront warehouses and decrepit piers had been reclaimed as a premium area of arts, entertainment, dining and hotels. Working from various conceptual ideas of what to do with the three mile-long eyesore, Marty had drawn in investors and worked with the more creative visionaries to build a small kingdom of state-of-the-art palaces and parks.
Tonight was to be the grand opening of the place, dubbed Harbor Crest, where the movers and the shakers would get a view of the area from a small cruise ship docked on the waterfront. The ship was designed to blend in with the rest of Harbor Crest and was meant for multi-day or weeklong cruises. But tonight's maiden voyage would only take a few hours while the passengers enjoyed the party. And of course there would be celebrities like...
"And Stevie Darrow will really be there?" Elsbeth asked for perhaps the twentieth time.
"Yes," answered Marty and Ellen together.
Although Elsbeth tried to comport herself with more dignity than her younger siblings, the eleven year-old couldn't help blushing and releasing an uttering of excitement. At two years Elsbeth's junior, Andie was less restrained in voicing her thrills. While not quite as entranced by the mention of the teenage pop star, Bianca and Gisele added their squeals to the mix as they emulated their big sisters' excitement.
Marty theatrically clapped his hands over her ears while Ellen laughed, remembering her preadolescent crushes well. Their offspring had taken after their mother in their blonde-haired, blue-eyed coloring. As Ellen mentally inspected their dresses for any smudges or other problems, she reflected on the preparations for tonight.
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Mr Double's Palisade
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Changes last made on: Thursday, April 20, 2017