The Mulrooney's - Part One
“Now, what do we have here?”
“What is it, Jay?”
Sarah put aside the old copper tea kettle she’d been ogling and took a look at the leather bound book Jay had in his hands.
“Here,” said Jay. “Let’s have a peak. It’s a bit faded, though. I can’t even read the title.”
It was a rainy Saturday at the Stormville flea market and Jay and Sarah were having a grand time. Vendors were always willing to drop their prices on goods when the weather was bad and the buyers few. Jay and Sarah’s little red pull wagon was loaded to the max with an assortment of odd ball knick-knacks.
“Ah, it’s an old photo album,” said Sarah. “Nineteenth century, I’d guess. Oh, this is adorable. Look at all these family gatherings! And those bathing suits! Barely an inch of skin showing. I guess no one was thinking tan way back then. Taken at Coney Island or Atlantic city, I’ll bet. I could spend all day looking at these photos. And it appears to be the same people in every picture. I wonder who they were? I can barely make out the lettering on the cover. I think it says, The Mulrooney’s. I really want this, Jay.”
“All right, then,” said Jay. “How much for the photo album?”
The seller ran his fingers through his hair and looked up at the leaky roof of his vendor’s tent.
“I tell you what,” said the vendor. “If you take that genuine copper tea kettle off my hands for cost. I’ll let you have the photo album for half price. Heck, they’re not my family.”
“Deal,” said Sarah. “Load it in the wagon, Jay.
And hurry. The rains coming down a little heavier now.”
“Where’d all the steam come from?”
Jay walked into the kitchen fanning away at the fog-like atmosphere.
“I’m making tea,” said Sarah. “I’ve put that old copper kettle on the stove.”
“Did you clean it out first?” said Jay. “It’s giving off the foulest smell.”
“I did," said Sarah. “There were some ashes and soot at the bottom. But you’re right, it does smell pretty rank. I was hoping it was the dog again. You know how he loves jumping in the neighbor’s goldfish pond. But I see he’s still out back. I’ll go put on a proper kettle.”
“Coffee for me, though,” said Jay. “I seem to have lost my appetite for tea this morning.”
“Where are we?” said Rupert Mulrooney. “And what are these people doing in our kitchen?”
“It doesn’t look like our kitchen, Pop," said Dickie.
“But that sure does look like our tea kettle,” said Rupert’s wife Regina.”
“And, goodness, Mother,” said Megan. “That man’s practically naked!
“Well, Now I’ve seen everything!” said Mr. Mulrooney. “When a man takes his place at the head of the table in his undergarments! This must be the mad house!”