Marney has a problem. And she knows that one day she's going to bite off more that she can chew; but she can't help herself. This time wWill she choke on Jorge, her new tenant !?
Marney looked down at her wrist. The second hand on the Timex 225 was just coming up to fifteen seconds to the hour. The original wind up she had inherited from her father still kept time to the second. As the hand stroked the hour, the front gate squealed on it's hinges.
She smiled. Regular... like clockwork. it gave the Universe some kind of sense. Though these days they kept going on about this Multiverse, which didn't make a lot of sense to her. Marney like to tell people that she was "just a simple country gal". And her simple dress, usually dungarees over a plaid blouse, zero make up, and what some city folk might consider bad hair, seemed to bear out this story.
The truth couldn't be more different. Marney had grown up in the inner city tenements. Her sharp mind had got her a scholarship, from where she'd gone straight to work, climbing the ladder at a large multi-national corporation, for the last thirty years.
Marney had had a comfortable life, with lot's of recognition from her peers. Not many regrets and she'd probably have still been there, doing what she was good at, if it Life hadn't dealt her a dirty hand. The last couple of years had been a real struggle.
But she'd finally turned the corner and it had turned out be a blessing. Life was like that sometimes. She'd been able to take early retirement at fifty-one, cashed in all her stock options, plus got a pretty payout from her life assurance. Life was almost good.
She decided to invest her payoff in a an apartment block.. she wasn''t sure why, perhaps it had to do with growing up in a tenement with a bad landlord, and she thought she could do better.
Of course her powerful and inquiring mind that used to make General Corporation a lot of money now had the spare capacity to wonder about all kinds of things... from the improbability of multiple parallel universes, to why smooth jazz made the world feel good. But that wasn't enough. A powerful inquiring mind like Marney's was like a homing missile that has lost it's target. It had to find something else to latch onto. In Marney's case, this something was her tenants.
She'd studied her new tenant, Jorge Santiago, for a couple weeks; recording and timing his routine, before making her move. Initially it had been a pretty standard needtogerintothisapartmenftorsomat type of entry by a landlord… not illegal, she had the keys. But probably few tenants would be happy about it; she didn't know for sure, she'd never asked them. Her inquiring mind told her to ignore such petty questions.
Marney had done her usual snooping routine, going through Jorge's opened mail, his fridge & kitchen, bathroom, wardrobe. Looking through his underwear draw, which was also his socks drawer. Interesting. Yes, she had sniffed a pair…tentatively... it was one of those thing you just could not not do. If only to determine his hygiene levels, which Marney had concluded were good, as was his taste in casual-smart clothes… no pretentious designer labels. Like his regular patterns, Marney approved.
She had fond Jorge's diet was the typical well balanced modern one, though a bit too fishy for her tastes... she liked her meat, preferably dark and well grilled, with chips on top. His bank statements declared him to be very solvent…she'd have to think up an excuse... err... reason... good rental type reason, of course... to put up his rent soon.
Marney had to go for a wee after she spotted his laptop. What a gold mine, she'd rubbed her mental hands together with glee.! But the premature ceebration had been cut short by the login password. Of course Marney hadn't spent 29 years working in I.T. for nothing. Well it had been pretty much for nothing... peanuts. But at least she'd learned a few things. Like how to over-ride a login password on a laptop.
Finding the hard-disk encrypted made her curiosity all the more intense. She knew it was an addiction, and she wouldn't be able to let this go. After fretting about it for a week, while still cataloging Jorge's rooms, this had remained the one mystery. She knew what she had to do. The spy-cam suite from Amazon had arrived on next day delivery.
Marney smiled to herself as her scalp tightened and the warm glow of anticipation spread down her thick neck, and all the way to her feet, as she activated the spy-cam monitor.