Friday, February 15, 2013


Getting Real

There was very little upside to being completely alone in the world.  Petra had given this a lot of thought and knew there was really only one advantage; if you were all alone then there was nobody to tell you what to do.  She was trying to be patient with Anthony, but her patience was wearing thin as she listened to his same old arguments.

“I just don’t see how this blog thing will last Pet,” the accountant said from his swiveling chair behind the desk.  “It’s not a secure investment and your resources aren’t unlimited.”

Pet bit off a sarcastic response in favor of a deep calming breath out of respect for Nana Bert.  Anthony Soares was the son of Nana’s best friend and the person who stepped in to manage Pet’s finances after the accident.  The gas company who owned the semi that had T-boned her father’s truck and killed both Pet’s parents had given her a substantial settlement and she was the sole beneficiary of all the properties and monies from her parents and two sets of grandparents.

Anthony had tried repeatedly to get Pet into college and, failing that, to set her up in some kind of business.  He had never respected her blog or its ability to generate income and he considered her glyph hunting to be an irrelevant hobby.  He was not a bad man, just an incredibly practical man who believed in numbers, not romance.  Pet was not surprised that Anthony objected, but she did not need his approval and she gamely tried to find a civil way to convey that.

Pet fastened her eyes on him and asked, “Have you looked at the blog lately?”  She could tell by his expression that the answer was no and continued, “Almost one million readers as of yesterday, almost as many Twitter follows.”  She leaned forward in her chair, not letting his eyes wander away, “Petra’s Glyphs has three sponsors now and the Expedition Fund has raised almost two thousand dollars since we started it three months ago.”

It was quiet in the room as Pet leaned back into her chair and let the accountant absorb the numbers.  CaveWomen, Inc. was a legal entity in the state of California now; it was a real business, with a real plan that had real potential for success.  Tass and Pet had spent most of the winter setting it all up and Araceli used her lifetime of skills acquired working for the State of California to navigate all the paperwork.

Expeditions cost money; proper equipment needed to be purchased along with vehicles and associated travel expenses.  Pet frequently sent out samples to various laboratories for all kinds of test, which were not cheap, and they still needed to eat regularly, so she had come downtown to see Anthony.  Summer was almost here and Pet was eager to get the tedious stuff done so she and Tass could finally get down to business.

The accountant looked through the incorporation papers again and the partnership agreement twice more before taking off his glasses.  “And Ms. Romero isn't contributing any funds for the start up?”

“No,” Pet said through a slightly clenched jaw.  Tass had no funds; Pet was the one with the cash, but Tass was the one who made things happen.  That was a skill beyond price, one that Pet did not possess, but Tass attracted people with a vivacious energy that came to her very naturally.

Anthony surrendered to the look of surety in Pet’s eyes and nodded feebly.  “Well, we have offers on all three properties, but I want you to keep the apartments.  That one is bread and butter, more than the other two combined,” he said.  He saw Pet preparing to object and rushed to say, “There will be more than enough from the duplexes to get your enterprise off the ground.  If you need more later,” the accountant paused here and gave Pet a look of his own, “then we can discuss that later.  Agreed?”

Pet looked at the offers for the two duplexes; Papa Burt had dabbled in real estate and left three income properties for his granddaughter.  In California, that was better than gold and Pet could live her whole life comfortably off the proceedings.  Anthony was right, she had to concede that, and she finally gave him a big smile.

“Two thousand in donations in less than three months?”  He leaned back in his chair and appraised Pet anew, “Who’s handling the money?”

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