Family’s Guardian

[WP] We bred dogs who can speak human languages…and learn that they actually have a rich oral history passed down the generations since they were wolves. They howl, they call it, and at last it’s being translated into English…

Going over the store’s finances makes him all the more grateful he got approved for those college grants. He can’t imagine having been able to afford going to school otherwise. Nevertheless, it all worked out and he survived the time he had put into getting an accounting degree. It just really puts it all in perspective, looking over the books now.

“Geez, Pops. How have you kept this going for so long?” The numbers are barely coming out in the positive. He goes through the expenses and liabilities, trying to find places they may be able to cut costs.

“Where’s the…” He flips through several pages to find what he is looking for but doesn’t come across it. He flips back to his journal of passwords and logins to find the banking info then logs into the account online. The information shows up, reflecting off of his glasses as he scrolls through the numbers. He looks back through the payment history seeing the balance due and the note, “Paid in Cash” next to every mortgage payment. He goes back to his books but can’t find any reference of a mortgage balance paid or due. He sighs, then leans back and rubs at his forehead. “Where’s this money coming from?”

A knock at the door has him sit up abruptly. He looks to the clock on the wall, 7:40 PM. It’s way past office hours. Who could be here now, he wonders. Opening the door reveals a tall, petite elf with gold-blonde hair. “Isabelle? What are you doing here?”

“We need to talk,” she says simply. “May I come in John?”

John rubs at the back of his head then turns, pulling the door open further. “Please. Have a seat.” She sits in the chair opposite his desk as he takes his own seat. “So, Izzy…what brings you here at this hour?”

“I know what you’re looking into, John.”

“Excuse me?”

“The mortgage payments. I know where this is all going, and I’d like to keep this between us. None of you should actually know of this but I know you are astute and you’ll no doubt find out eventually.”

“Ugh, forgive me Izzy. I’m a bit at a loss as to what you’re getting at, but you’ve been with my family forever. You can speak plainly. You’re basically one of the family after all. And if you wish it, whatever this is can stay between us.”

She sighs then nods. “Thank you, John. To be frank, I’ve been paying the mortgage payments for past 30 years.”

“What? Why? How? and Why?”

She sighs again. “What you’re not supposed to know is that your family is my charge. Me and mine have been looking out for you and your family for generations. Some thirty years ago, your father couldn’t keep up with the interest on the restaurant, so he quit paying it all together. For a long time, he worried that they would foreclose on the restaurant at any moment, but that day never came. Eventually, he stopped worrying and returned to focusing his energy on the restaurant again. In time, he forgot about it all together. To be honest, I have been waiting on your great family to be able to stand on its own again. I know that time is not now, but I believe that you will change all of that.”

John slumps, sinking deeper into his chair. “Wow, Izzy. That’s a lot to take in.” She nods. “I suppose, thank you is in order.”

“Please. That’s not necessary.”

He nods. “Ok, so where do we need to go from here?”

“That’s up to you John…and no, I’m not magic.”

“Wait…did I ask that?”

“No, but you were about to.” She winks. John smiles. She stands to leave and John stands with her. “Thank you, John.”

“Oh gosh, I hope you haven’t done that all my life.”

“It’s fine. Boys will be boys after all.” John turns red, then he sighs.

“That’s a bit embarrassing. I’ll have to be sure to keep my mind out of the gutter in the future.”

“You’ve grown into a fine man, John. Your family is in good hands.”

“Thanks Izzy. I’ll get this all sorted out and try to take some of the pressure off of you.”

She nods and he closes the door behind her. Returning to his chair, he takes off his glasses to rub at his eyes. “Hmph, who’d of thought. Our Izzy…a mind reading, magical elf.” He smiles then returns to going over the books.