"Taking his secret to the grave"
At the crown of the hill, a gigantic wrought-iron gate stood before him. Not only was it uninviting, but downright intimidating. A welded sign with raised letters read, Lord Manor Estates. He sat a moment, wondered what the mogul wanted with him. Why the urgent call? He'd only had a brief interview, and even then, he made it clear he wasn't interested in Tom. Now, he was being summoned as if he were an attorney in Mr. Lord's prestigious law firm.
The sunlight had nearly faded. Its orange hues were cast against the night. Glowing lights began to flicker on, covering the hillside like a sea of stars. The brilliant view forced him to stop and acknowledge the greatest architect of them all, God.
While Tom gazed in the distance, a beam of light suddenly bounced off his face. He used his hand to shield the blinding glare. The flashlight signaled him to pull forward to the guard shack. An officer walked closer flashing more light about Tom's car. He scoped the body of the vehicle, finally resting on his briefcase before a brief interrogation.
"What you doing 'round here?" The uniformed guard asked, as if Tom had no business being on the Hill.
"Good evening, Officer Larry," Tom said after eyeing his badge. "I'm Thomas Miner; here to see Mr. Lord, he's expecting me." He was cordial, kept his head forward, hoping to ward off a potential problem.
"Check it out," Officer Larry whispered to his partner seated at the control panel. "Got any ID?" Larry wanted to know.
Tom fumbled in his back pocket but was relieved when Larry's partner called back, "He checks out."
Larry gave Tom a hard stare, then the "go ahead" with a jerk of his head. Tom didn't expect him to bid him a nice evening, as he was sure Larry did with other guests of Lord Manor.
The massive gates with the huge fancy cursive initials, "L M" opened on either side, exposing the stately mansion. Marvin Gaye was on the radio asking, "What's going on?" Tom answered back, "I don't know Marvin, but I'm about to find out."
Inside, Tom drove past rows of assorted flowers in a garden on his right. On his left, he noticed several horses gated by a white wooden fence, where a man led them into a stable. "Probably thoroughbreds," he thought. Tom knew the Lords had money, but had no idea how deep their pockets were lined until he actually saw the mansion sitting on acres of rolling green. As he approached the circular drive, Tom stopped for a moment and closed his eyes. He imagined it was all his. "One day," he told himself.
Two gigantic twin lion statutes stood out, although they were made of stone, they seemed to be staring right at him. He parked alongside the curb in front of the mansion and checked himself in the rear view mirror. He had to shift it though, at six-three, it was necessary to make all sorts of adjustments. He didn't bother to check his hair; he kept a close cut, too tall to wear a big Afro, the latest style made him look like a totem pole. Tom checked his teeth for food particles and used his pinkie finger as a toothpick, though Audrey would have preferred dental floss. He was often told his straight white teeth were a nice set; they complimented his deep dimples and smooth dark brown skin.
Tom grabbed his briefcase and closed the door lightly so a slam wouldn't bring attention to his Chevy Impala. Not that it was a wreck, in fact it was a classic in mint condition; it just didn't fit in with the Limo and Jaguar he parked behind or the silver Corvette in front of them. He stepped out of his car, inspected his suit, checked his shoes and straightened his tie; it was time to go in.
His heart began to beat a tad-bit faster as he made his way up the stony steps. He took a deep breath and admired the manicured lawn while he waited for someone to respond to the doorbell.
"May I help you?" A tall, thin elderly m