Mary Lu W8D3

Week 12 – Friday

Welcome to SeniorVu’s daily ‘flash fiction’, with the continuing saga of Mary Lu at the Vu. Mary Lu is a 78-year old fictitious resident of a fictitious senior living community called Hickory Hills View (a.k.a. The Vu).  Every night, while her husband Bobby (he’s fictitious too) sleeps next to her, she sends her sister Carolyn (yup, fictitious) an entertaining email updating her on the day. These are her stories. We hope they become as addictive as your morning cup of coffee. 

Disclaimer: Even though these stories may sound familiar to your community, the story, all names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this series are fictitious. No identification with actual persons (living or deceased), places, buildings, and products is intended or should be inferred.


I’ve been leafing through the binder Anna prepared for our reunion next summer. There are twelve of us left from our graduating class, but one has dementia and another is in hospice, so that leaves a maximum head count of ten — and Anna says she’s a probable no.

She prepared a dossier for each of the remaining nine – myself included — that had our names, contact information and a ton of personal information, including food allergies and our credit scores. It was a remarkable piece of research.

“She did all the work for you,” Jackie said, marveling at the binder. “We could use her with our little project.”

Jackie didn’t know it yet, but the idea was brilliant.

We could have Anna make cold calls to every unit in the building, posing as an inmate’s widow. She could start with Max Jones.

“Are you the Max Jones who knew my husband in prison?” she could ask.

If it wasn’t Max, she could move on.

Anna lives in California and doesn’t know anyone else at The Vu, so her calls wouldn’t be tied to us. And as I discovered when she asked to help with the reunion, it’s hard to say no to a seriously ill woman.

Anna loved the idea. We gave her a directory and then sat and waited to hear what she found.

“It’s not Max Jones,” she said. “He never did time. He was a coal miner.”

She went down the list, describing the reactions of the other people.

“There’s only one that was weird. I mentioned prison and he got real quiet,” she said. “Who is this guy, Doug Bennett?”

Jackie and I traded looks. Oh my goodness.

Doug Bennett isn’t — technically — a resident. He’s a handyman who does The Vu’s emergency maintenance. But because he lives two hours away, the management lets him stay in one of the vacant apartments during the week so he doesn’t have to commute.

He never eats with us. He doesn’t do activities with us.

But he has a key to my apartment. He has a key to every apartment.

Holy crow, C. I think we’re about to solve this. And I’m terrified.

More Monday,

LuP.S. To catch up on all of my previous Mary Lu at The Vu posts, click here to go back to Day 1.