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Umbrey pt. II
The problem with Umbrey was that he wasn’t just squalid on the outside. No, if anything he was MORE squalid on the inside. He lived in a dark squalor of the heart*. He had no redeeming qualities at all. Not one. Even his mother said to his face that she couldn’t stand him. And he didn’t care. That was the depth of his squalorishness. Also he liked to gamble more than he should.
Umbrey liked to play the ponies. He went to a bookie over in Brooklyn named Emilio Frappe (who was mostly considered to be an okay guy except for the time he sent the kneebreakers to his mother’s because she hadn’t paid her Keno debt; but he paid her hospital bill so everyone called it even). Emilio tolerated Umbrey because he always paid his debts on time and because he was a consistent loser. Umbrey generated enough income for Emilio so that he could get his daughters piano lessons and send his favorite enforcer to Hawaii as a birthday present. And this is where things start to go really bad for Umbrey, because one day he decided to make a bet.
A big one.
*By the way, if you’re thinking that this is going to be some kind of story of redemption along the lines of Scrooge or the Grinch, don’t get your hopes up. Not saying it won’t happen, but it seems highly unlikely given Umbrey’s personality and the fact that he makes consistently poor choices. Just saying.
This is the first of my Story Days. I’ll try to post a new chapter ( or story) every Saturday- or when I feel like it, don’t get your hopes up- So here goes.
The Sordid Tale of Umbrey the Squalid Elf
Umbrey was an elf. He lived under an overturned tuna can in an empty lot in Queens. The rest of his tribe lived in a high rise loft on the upper east side with a view of Central Park. Umbrey had shunned the tribe as being too material; he said he wanted to be an artist and in order to become one he had to live the gritty side of life- his malodorous squalidation made his work Authentic and Real. In fact all of this was a load of crap; in truth Umbrey was antisocial and he lived in the can because he liked the smell. The rest of the tribe was fine with that as long as he kept his tuna-smellin’ backside out of their loft. Umbrey tended to affect property values in a negative way.
Umbrey had one friend, a cockroach named Michael. Even Michael didn’t really like Umbrey though. Michael was trying to travel the path to inner peace and felt that showing charity and friendship to someone like Umbrey was a good way to get there. In this he was wrong; the only path that Umbrey lead to was dried up tuna flakes and possible tetanus.