Brushstrokes of Intrigue
The Last Coat: Final Cleanup

A Short Story by Tim Josephs
Written using the suggestion "Lilac"
Originally featured on 07-10-2007
As part of our series "Breakfast Serial"

Harvey took a step backwards; his heels hit the base of the fountain and he sat down abruptly on the edge.

“Please,” Maxwell said, extending his arm. “Make yourself comfortable.”

He was just as Harvey remembered him: neatly trimmed white mustache, overly-tanned burnt orange face, freakishly large upper arms.

“I should’ve known that was your Le Car I saw out there,” Harvey said.

Maxwell smiled. “The only one in town, just 293 thousand miles.”

“I take it you two know each other,” Ms. Rogers said.

Maxwell’s smiled faded. “Alas, we do. Why don’t you tell her, Harvey? Tell Ms. Rogers how we know each other, tell her how I took you under my wing when you were just a rookie paint seller who didn’t know the difference between a semi gloss and a satin finish. Tell her how, at the first chance you got, you stabbed me in the back and took me job. Go on, tell her.”

“That’s not true, Maxwell,” Harvey said, standing up. “The only reason I was promoted to manager was because you didn’t show up for work. I was told you were having problems, uh, keeping clean.”

Maxwell laughed. “You really think that’s what it was? You poor, na

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