Mavis never expected to see grass again, yet here she was, watching it pass by the window as they sped toward Lorenzo’s boss, Gideon. They headed down the Mornington Peninsula, eventually reaching a place that she supposed was a replica of Balnarring, one of the more affluent suburbs in the area.
They pulled into a large property, waiting for the iron gate to slide open. A mansion stood before them, bigger than any building she’d ever seen in New Melbourne. Gone were the days of skyscrapers and properties larger than a fifth of an acre. At least, so most people believed.
“State your business,” said a robotic voice from a small box beside the gate.
Lorenzo pulled his window all the way down and cleared his throat. “We’re here to discuss important house repairs and maintenance information.”
The gate opened fully then, allowing them to continue onto the massive property. It took almost a minute for them to reach the end of the driveway, which did a full loop around a gorgeous fountain with a mermaid statue.
Lorenzo got out of the car first, and Mavis followed. Her boots crunched on the stones below, but she stood only a few feet away from crisp grass. Ignoring Lorenzo as he urged her toward the front of the car, she stepped forward and reached down, feeling the soft touch of nature against her skin once more. How many years had it been since she touched real grass?
After she got over a spark of exhilaration, Mavis gave her attention to Lorenzo and the man he stood beside. She could tell the house was built by easily one of the best custom home designers on the Mornington Peninsula – as Lorenzo put it. Lorenzo was a tall man with black hair and a similarly coloured beard sprinkled with salt. He wore a fine vest, which almost made him look like some sort of majordomo.
“Welcome,” Gideon said, bowing to Mavis. “My client has a great need for your talents, Mavis von Westerly. Please, won’t you join me inside to discuss more about the operation?”