The Monroe Mansion
Late in the afternoon, Don Monroe’s younger brother Ash, his wife Bailey, and their 11-year-old son Hunter, had finally arrived at the Monroe Mansion. The three all looked jaded from the long flight from countryside Tarah Maven as they stood in the front passage inside the mansion with their luggage.
Don hadn’t arrived home from work yet so his mother-in-law, May Maverick, took it upon herself to welcome the family into the house. Rea, Don’s wife, also came to the front passage to see them, but with a different intention in mind.
From the moment Rea saw Ash, she didn’t take her eyes off him. With her kittenish gestures and flirty grinning, it was obvious that she was trying to grab his attention.
Old May was visibly disgusted while Ash, the unfortunate target, looked completely uncomfortable. As for Bailey, she was so ready to slap Rea right then and there.
On previous family gatherings, Bailey and Rea never got along because Rea always had something to say about Bailey’s modest clothes or her laid-back dietary choices or even the way she pronounced certain words.
Even as they stood in the hallway, with May trying to start a conversation, Bailey clearly wasn’t interested in socializing with Rea.
“Let me show you your rooms.” May quickly offered, in an attempt to prevent an altercation between young Bailey and her senseless, 40-something year old daughter, Rea.
Ash chuckled, “No need to show me the way. I still remember where my room is. After all, I grew up in this house.”
“Okay, then, head upstairs while I take Hunter to his room. You can leave your bags here and Malibu, our helper, will bring them upstairs.” May instructed.
Bailey immediately brushed past Rea and went upstairs, with Ash following behind her. May gave Rea a really long, disapproving stare.
“What?” Rea saucily questioned, rolling her eyes.
May watched with distaste as her daughter rudely flipped her blonde hair over her shoulder and sauntered away.
The elderly lady then turned her attention to Hunter who was patiently waiting for her to take him to his room.
She led Hunter up the stairs and through a series of confusing hallways, making sure to point out which places he was not to go but dear, little Hunter had gotten too excited about exploring the grand house to listen.
They ended up at the end of a dim hallway that had three doors that all looked alike. May opened one of them and they entered to a brightly colored room.
“Wow!” Hunter marveled at the dainty room with its multicolored walls and star-pattern curtains.
A huge star-shaped mirror, framed with little bulbs, hung above two dressers. On top of the dressers were music awards and a stack of CDs.
Right away, Hunter knew that the room must have belonged to Alma Monroe, his 23-year-old cousin. Alma had always been the ‘musical one’ in the family.
Perhaps, the most obvious indication of who the room belonged to was the large poster on the wall of Alma wearing a blue wig, holding a microphone.
“This is your room from now on.” May abruptly informed him.
“But isn’t this Alma’s room? Gran, where is Alma?” Hunter questioned, taking his eyes off the peculiar poster of his cousin.
May was oddly uncomfortable with the questions.
“Alma is… She’s around.” May uneasily replied to Hunter. “Why don’t you go ahead and unpack. I’ll be in my room, which is just next door, so knock there when you’re done unpacking.”