The Collector

K. Bond

George blamed his early balding for never having married or even fallen in love. Living alone wasn’t as bad since he found Midas. The oversized white cat gave him someone to talk to when he felt lonesome. If he grew bored talking to Midas, he dusted and reorganized his vast collections. The apartment’s lack of space did not deter him from shopping for additional items every Saturday afternoon.

George browsed the outdoor flea market aisles one Saturday when he felt a pinch on his back. He swung around to see an odd looking man dressed in a coffee-colored fedora and tattered khakis.

The little man analyzed a piece of white fuzz that he clutched between his wrinkled fingers. He looked up and asked, “Do you have pets?”

“Just one cat. Midas is his name.” George brushed off his faded black T-shirt.

“I’m Earnest. Nice to meet ya.” The little man extended his hand.

“George,” he said as he shook it.

Earnest lifted his hat and wiped his forehead with a handkerchief. “George, I don’t suppose I could interest you in some Egyptian figurines. I need to sell a few, so I can get out of this heat. It could kill a man my age, ya know?”

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