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Amber’s phone rang again. “This is another job. I’ve got to disappear upstairs and do some work. You want to come to Wangaratta tomorrow,” she asked.
Milly nodded as Amber answered the phone in Italian.
Two hours later, Milly, Raphael and Amber were discussing the ins and outs of where to put new power points and if to keep the old ones. Amber got several placed in the attic because that was probably going to end up being her office, if only because so many people seemed to want to pop in and see where the dead bodies had been. Maverick had scared off some, but then he’d been called to a road accident. It was open slather now. Milly had parked one of her twins at the front door and another at the back doors with the other two cleaning out rubbish. At least until one of the enterprising twins had decided to charge admission. Picking up ten pieces of builders rubble got you are a tour of the lower death floor. Amber had rolled her eyes, led her entourage upstairs and started in the attic.
“Are you going to line the attic,” Raphael asked. “It would lighten it up in here and mean that you could use less light.”
The attic already had four dormer windows but shadows hid amongst the unfinished timber. Amy nodded.
“That sounds good.” They then moved to the bedroom floor and she added an extra two double power points to each room.
“You sure you want so many power points,” Raphael asked.
“Phone, tablet, laptop, beside light, heater, one of these rooms could end up being a server room for me yet. I would rather get extra power points than not enough. How much do you charge to come out and install an extra power point,” she asked him.
“$150 call out fee plus about $30 in materials if I can do it in an hour.”
“So $180 versus an extra $30 to $60 now. It is simple maths.” Amber replied.
They moved downstairs.
“Right, showings over.” One of the twins yelled and they shepherded the town’s people out.
Amber’s phone rang, she left it to go to message bank. Forty minutes later she had accepted Raphael to do her rewiring. He would start upstairs, leaving the downstairs until last.
“Will I have power whilst you are working,” she asked him.
“For times of it. I can put the place on two different circuits which means that if something goes wrong with one circuit then the other will still work. If I do the upstairs tomorrow, make sure you charge your phone and your laptop tonight. By tomorrow afternoon, you’ll have power upstairs.”
“Good, what time will you be here tomorrow?”
“I like starting early, I will be here by 7am.” He replied and got into his truck.
“Thanks,” Amber replied and the electrician drove off.
“Thanks for helping Milly, I am fairly independent but it is nice to have someone to run ideas past. After he’s done then I guess I start sheeting the house again.”
“Are you going to use tongue in groove,” Robert asked, coming over from the skip where he had just dumped some more rubble.
Amber shook her head. “I have some serious budget constraints now, I am going to have to work out how to lay the flooring myself and then I am going to insulate down here myself, then I am going to line the walls.”
“I’ll cut your new door to the veranda tomorrow, I have the dimensions of the one you ordered in Melbourne. This place is going to look amazing when you have finished.”
Amber nodded. Her phone rang again. “I’ve to get this call. Milly, I’ll pick you up at 9 tomorrow after the twins are off to school.”
“Seriously, can’t we help Dad tomorrow,” one of them complained. “It’s the last two days of school, all we do is watch videos all day, or get dumped in the computer lab to play computer games.”
“Really, what a waste of a computer lab. Do you like coding,” Amber asked them.
“What’s coding,” one replied. “It’s writing computer games you idiot,” his twin responded.
“Sort of,” Amber allowed. “It’s being able to write computer programs like the one I have to translate languages or to be able to control your heating and air-conditioning through your mobile phone. Anyway, there is a website www.code.org that will teach you the basics of coding so whilst you are stuck in a computer lab all day, you might as well learn how to code. You never know what jobs are going to be around in the future, but most of them are going to need some form of coding.”
“So you can go to school tomorrow and learn how to code.” Milly stated emphatically, “and if you can come home and teach me about coding you can have Friday off to help your dad with some of Amber’s deck.”
The twins hi-fived and headed down the road before their mother could change her mind. Milly winked at Amber. “I was going to give them Friday off anyway.”
Amber laughed and trudged inside to continue working.
“Hey Roxy,” Amber greeted Roxy off the bus. No one else got off. “How are Merry and Stan,” Amber asked.
“Glad to see the back of me for a while,” Roxy responded.
“I doubt that, but I can imagine it’s nice to be doing something you want to do.”
“Yeah, I’m looking forward to working with Colin. I’m actually looking forward to something. I am going to put the money I earn to a construction white card at school. There are a couple of other courses that are being offered as well. But that way I can leave school when I have a job. I know I should stay, Stan’s been at me about it, but I ain’t no genius like you. I just don’t like dealing with all the shit from the students. If I like working then I am going to see what I can do in construction or landscaping.”
“Okay, well I have to tell you, the house is a wreck at the moment.”
“Yeah, I saw it on the news and Colin’s been keeping me informed. I have to say I’m a bit surprised that Maverick hasn’t been telling you about the stuff.”
“He’s been busy with lots of drunks and drugs at the moment. Apparently the Christmas, New Years holidays are pretty rough, he’s been working and with the dead bodies in the house.”
“They are calling it the”
“I don’t want to know. I like my house, I’ve got some great ideas for kitchens that I want your opinion on and I’ve got Mrs Donaldson and all the local ministers telling me I should have a service at the house to put all the souls to rest.”
“Are you going to,” Roxy asked. She threw her backpack into the back of the ute.
“I don’t want anything to do with it. I just want my house back. They ripped up the fucking floor. I mean any moron could have seen that the floor wasn’t thick enough for a body.”
“Hate to break it to you Ambs but the murderers dismembered people and did bury them in the floorboards.”
“Oh for fucks sack, did you have to tell me that,”
“Have the exorcism.”
Amber pulled out of the car park and into the street. A few blocks down Maverick was resting against his patrol car. His Constable and three other police were breathalysing everyone. He saw her and stepped out into the street to wave her down. Amber slowed and pulled over into the line of traffic that was being breathalysed.
“Hey Roxy, Amber,” he said leaning into the window. “This here is a random breath testing and drug testing station. When was your last drink ma’am,” he winked at both of them.
“I don’t drink,” Amber replied sweetly.
“Now one of these days you’re going to have to spill as to why.”
“Knock it off Mav, if you want her just come over one day.” Roxy laughed at him. He chuckled back.
“Still got to breathalyse you.” He grinned at Amber.
“Well get on with it, the car behind me is finished.”
Amber completed her breath test.
“Can I pop over tonight? I thought I might help you with that flooring,” Maverick maintained his grin.
Amber nodded and then when he stepped back she drove away.