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Victorian era pharmacist, Edgar, has just inherited the family estate from his recently deceased brother, Hamilton. But Hamilton–though deceased–isn’t done yet. Strange things happen when sibling rivalries go too far….

Short story.

Echelon Press LLC, August 2007.

The excerpt:

When Mr. Frog, as he liked to refer to himself (it was a nickname gone well past the limits of childhood), strode down the main walk of town with a wide grin on his face, people wondered. He was a pharmacist, and a dour, dismal sort of one, who pranced about in a dark pinstripe suit, with a narrow, saturnine face to match. Today, however, his creased and crinkled features were turned up in his version of a chipper attitude (but was really a slimy, creeping kind of smile). As he tottered down the street, he went out of his way to wave at the passersby. You see, he had just inherited the whole of his brother’s estate the night before, and after he closed down the shop in the afternoon, he planned to travel to Westbury for the estate’s inspection.

He rubbed his preternaturally long fingers together to think of it. A large, three-story manor house on twelve acres. Frog couldn’t help but chortle to himself to think of all the things waiting for him when he got there. Priceless family heirlooms of numerous shapes and sizes; their (his, he corrected himself) great-great-grandpapa’s oil portrait from the sixteenth century, and there would even be that particular hand-carved table from India that should have been his from the start.

Frog banished the thought from his mind. Why worry about things of the past? It was now as it should have been!

As it should have been, Frog thought, jaunting toward his pharmacy on crooked knees, whistling a bouncy tune. As it should have been, he thought, and wrapped his fingers on the curved iron doorknob and twisted. Brother Toad had only received it all because he was the favorite and for no other reason.

Extras:

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