Starla Rose sat in the floral covered chair by the window. This was her favorite place to mull things over and she had a lot of mulling to do. The sunlight warmed her back and made her a little drowsy. The cup of tea in her hand was cooling down but she ignored it. Trying hard to make her thoughts remain in the corral she had created for them was giving her a headache. The thoughts wanted to jump the fence and run free.
The quiet was broken as Vinnie burst through the front door. The clump of his heavy feet sounded in the hall and with two large strides he managed to launch himself onto the couch across from Starla. He grinned as a large finger disappeared up his nose.
“Vincent, take your finger out of your nose. What are you, a child?” Starla rubbed her forehead and scowled at her cousin. “Actually, I’ll tell you what you are. You’re an uncouth oaf. You need to learn some manners and learn how to act like a gentleman.
“Come on Starla, who died and left you to be my etiq- etika – etiquick teacher?”
“It’s etiquette and if you had spent more energy on your studies than on beating up the little kids you would know that. Your mom is rolling over in her grave right now.”
Vinnie threw a pillow across the room and spilled Starla’s tea. “Now look what you have done. You’re such an idiot. This is my new dress.” Starla rose from her chair and headed for the door.
“I ain’t no idiot. I managed to get ol’ Marley all flustered because Joe wouldn’t buy his hooch. That oughta make Pop proud.”
“You think you managed that all on your own? Well, I have news for you. Joe may be scared of your size, but the real reason he refused to buy from Marley is because of Sophie. Haven’t you seen the way he looks at her? And, that’s not good enough. If he quits the shine Pops will lose his business also.”
“Yeah, you think you know so much? Just wait and see. Pop’s grooming me for the business and when he dies I’m gonna show you just how much you don’t know.”
Starla headed out of the parlor toward the stairs. “Stop it. Have you no feelings at all? Pop is not going to die. Now, I have to get out of this dress now that you’ve soaked it.”
As she disappeared up the stairs Vinnie grabbed another pillow and lobbed it at her back. He and Starla Rose had grown up in the same house ever since her parents had abandoned her when she was six to travel the world and never came back. She drove him nuts with her holier than thou attitude and her uppity manners. Once Pop was gone he was going to put her in her place.