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Eccentricities of Rich People

A death in the family of famous actors has the spouse of one of the actors puzzled. The death itself, and the way in which the family handles it.

By Stephen Kramer AvitabilePublished 12 months ago Updated 8 months ago 12 min read
Top Story - May 2023
Eccentricities of Rich People
Photo by Max Harlynking on Unsplash

As her deceased father’s bold performance continues on the TV, she watches intently, but her eyes remain dry as bone. Isaac finds this curious. He watches the movie starring Cay’s father, Niles, only half-invested. It’s a wonderful movie, he’s seen it three times before.

No, he’s more invested in the film playing out on the couch next to his armchair. Cay watches the movie, unfazed. An hour into a two-hour film, her father, the main character, loads of screen time, yet his powerful performance does nothing for her. He only died a few weeks ago… she witnessed the horrific ordeal, and she alone.

Slipped away into the rushing rapids of the river that used to provide her family with joyous moments, just as cruelly snatched a loved one and gulped him down into its watery gravesite. His fingers slipped out of her hand, the last moments of his life, she witnessed them. Cay told the story and Isaac was horrified for her. He could only imagine the distraught looks on Niles’s face as he lost his line to life, cut free, swept away.

“Do you miss your father?” Isaac blurts out.

Cay sighs. She pauses the movie. “I just want to watch the movie. Without interruption.”

“Just asking.” Isaac says defensively

Cay plays the movie again. She never looks in Isaac’s direction. Isaac feels badly; he thinks his words and delivery may have been insensitive. But he worries about Cay. Bottling up her emotions like this. But he says nothing to her… for the rest of the day. The mansion looms large with silence, with the exception of Niles’s voice blasting from the TV.


Isaac organizes the desk in Cay’s study. She’s been neglecting many things. She still hasn’t expressed any emotion, not since the day of the accident. Even at the funeral, her face was deader than her father’s.

An open package lays on the corner of the desk, a videotape inside. Probably home video footage of the family, Isaac had requested this from one of the aunt’s. He thought it would be nice to put something together for the family. Editing… that is his strength, after all.

In reviewing the tape, Isaac is horrified at what it contains. Not endearing footage of Cay’s family at a holiday gathering. It is footage from a camera he didn’t realize existed, somewhere on the hiking trail, surveying the river. Footage from that fateful day. Niles is in the river. Cay is crouched over at the riverbank, holding onto Niles’s hand. The river sweeps along quickly, but not fast enough to compromise Cay’s strength. Niles doesn’t budge. Cay has a firm grasp of him.

“Where’s your mother?!” Niles screams.

Cay responds but it’s inaudible. And then…

She lets go of his hand! With intention!

Niles lets out a soft yelp which barely conveys the emotion worthy of the situation, rather, it's loaded with surprise.

Cay gets up calmly and walks away from the river.

Isaac is aghast. Cay let her father get swept up by the river… to meet his demise.


It’s a lazy Monday afternoon, and Cay has insisted on putting another of her father’s movies on to watch. Isaac is baffled but the two sit in their same positions as two days before, and watch the movie. It’s another of Niles’s better performances. Cay watches in the same manner. No emotion.

Isaac keeps glancing over at her. Searching for emotion. He never finds any. Of course not. This is a heartless woman who killed her father. How has Isaac been sharing a bed with this woman for so many years? How had he never been aware of this side of her? And why had Cay done this? She loved her father. She did receive a massive inheritance from his will, but Cay and Isaac were already well off.

And how could she bear to watch him day after day after what she did? Here he is on the TV, speaking, yelling, laughing, crying… so full of life. Cay’s face, though beautiful, as dull as a slab of granite right now. And as dry as one too. Her eyes study the performance on screen like they belong to an eager, up-and-coming actor.

Granted, she was that once. But she made it on her own, out of the shadow of both her father and her mother. Her father starred in over 50 films, her mother, Silvia, was in a dozen, along with two long-running TV shows. And many thought, in the beginning of Cay’s career, it was nepotism. Daughter of two actors… becomes an actor… on what merit?

But Cay showed she had beyond merit. She had the acting chops. Even a nomination for best supporting actress several years back. How can someone who can bring forth such emotion on the screen completely lack it in this situation? Did she have a secret hatred for her father?

The clacking of heels sound off the frigid floor behind them, bouncing off the high walls and ceilings. Isaac turns around to greet Silvia and forgets… it’s Monday.

There goes Silvia, gliding along the floor of their mansion, elegant as ever, even in her advanced years. Her heels, fashionable. Her skirt, expensive. Her top, nowhere to be seen. Because it is “Mammary Monday.”

Something that Silvia began doing a few years back. She walked around with no top, no bra, nothing. Every Monday, for several hours. Never outside of the house. No, that would be weird. But inside her house? Yes. Inside Cay and Isaac’s house as she stays with them for weeks after the funeral? Also yes.

Isaac gets an eyeful of his topless mother-in-law and quickly turns back to watch his murdered father-in-law. Quite the barrel of choices, eh? Not that Silvia isn’t a beautiful sight. And not that anyone cares, Silvia, Cay, Niles (may he rest in peace), if you don’t avert your eyes while Silvia is in full “Mammary Monday” mode.

“It’s natural.” They’d always say.

Nah, it’s weird.

“It’s good for the breasts to be unencumbered once a week. They remain healthy and gain strength from the moon.”

Nah, that’s some new age, eccentric stuff that only people with money participate in.

“It’s not like everyone hasn’t seen them before.”

True. Silvia went topless for several movies early in her career. Isaac had seen them all.

The entire family had always been a bit eccentric. And most people thought they were aware of their eccentricities and had a good sense of humor about them. After Isaac first found out about “Mammary Monday” he tried to break what felt like awkward tension by making a joke about “Weiner Wednesdays.”

To which no one laughed.

So, no. They don’t have a sense of humor about their eccentricities. They don’t even seem to be aware of them.

Silvia pauses behind them. She watches the movie along with them. Isaac forces himself to keep looking ahead. But then Silvia speaks.

“This was one of your father’s best performances.” Silvia says. “Notice how he leans slightly towards insanity intermittently to give his character a terrifying edge.”

Cay says nothing.

It’s quiet. She doesn’t even turn around. Silvia stays put.

Oh God, someone has to acknowledge her. We can’t just let the comment go unnoticed. But my cold-hearted, father-murdering wife isn’t even going to give her mother the time of day.

Isaac turns around. Silvia stands 15 feet behind them, martini in one hand, other hand on her hip, jutting her chest out. As if she wants them to be seen. Putting them on full display.

“I always liked how he inserted humor into the role.” Isaac adds. “To show he finds all of this to be normal, no matter how horrifying it is, he still makes jokes.”

“He didn’t add humor!” Silvia snaps. “What do you know about acting?!”

Ooh! Those last words, they came out of Silvia’s mouth, but they belonged to Niles.

Isaac liked Niles and they got along well enough, but he was a serious actor. And he never agreed with Isaac’s reviews. Even if Isaac’s reviews nearly mirrored his own. Every time Isaac gave his review, Niles would unleash his, “What do you know about acting?!”

Isaac stopped giving his reviews after a while. “It was great” seemed to suffice most times.

“Dad was so powerful.” Cay says simply.

No one responds.

“I need another martini.” Silvia says as she walks off.

Thank goodness “Mammary Monday” is also “Martini Monday” because the bar is far, far away.

The next week is tough. Cay is distant. She barely speaks to Isaac. Which Isaac is okay with for the most part. He is growing a hatred for the woman he loves… a woman he still loves. But he cannot believe that she did this unspeakable thing.

He doesn’t know what to do. Could he go to the police? To turn in his own wife? Does he confront Cay? Does he tell Silvia? Poor, clueless Silvia. Still staying at their house. Still warm and caring towards the daughter who murdered her mother’s husband. Still her occasionally rude self towards Isaac. Most of the time warm and caring, but rude outbursts directed at him. Another “What do you know about acting?!” when Isaac stupidly referred to another Niles movie as powerful.

And another “Mammary Monday.” This one, as Cay and Isaac watch another movie of Niles’s, one of his worst ones, Silvia decides to join them! Cay has the couch to herself, yet Silvia doesn’t join her on any of the free cushions. No, she sits on the arm of the chair that Isaac is seated in. Plops down right next to him, almost sitting on his arm. Her topless, martini-drinking-self inches from him. And Cay with no reaction, per usual.

“Did you want to sit in the chair?” Isaac asks.

“You’re good, dear.” Silvia chuckles. “It feels good to sit on the arm, quite stiff, provides support.”

Okay, is this family FUCKING with me?! Did she really just say that?

Luckily, the movie was only two hours and 45 minutes. A real flop. No redeeming qualities. An unbearable situation for Isaac. Just 165 minutes of… awful straight ahead… and awkward on the arm of his chair. Isaac… trapped between a flop and a hard place.


Thankfully, it’s now “Tops Back On Tuesday” and Silvia is drinking… something that has her subdued. Cay watches another of her father’s movies. His last one. Quite possibly his worst one. Isaac thinks about how this was such a terrible way for Niles to go out.

The back door opens and closes. Isaac frowns, unaware anyone was visiting. Cay and Silvia look towards the direction of the door casually. Powerful footsteps on a confident stride move towards them from the back hallway. A shadow steaks across the floor. The shadow beckons its origin to follow… and it does follow.

Niles enters the room, big grin on his face. Cay and Silvia smirk. Isaac would swallow his tongue but his whole throat implodes.

“Hello, family!” Niles announces. “Looks like we are in the clear!”

Isaac can’t even speak.

“The life insurance sure took its sweet ass time!” Silvia yells.

The three all exchange hugs. Isaac is glued to his seat.

“What is happening?! Niles?!”

“So, you didn’t fully figure it out?” Niles laughs as he tosses an envelope at Isaac.

Isaac catches it. It’s the envelope with the tape of Niles in the river.

“I thought.. Cay… let you go…”

“Jesus, Isaac!” Cay exclaims. “You thought I’d kill my own father?!”

“Sure looked like it.” Isaac laughs in confusion and relief. “But what… I’m beyond confused.”

“A few bad performances.” Niles begins to explain as he unbuttons his heavy overcoat. “Roles being offered were minimal, the roles being offered were shit, and I won’t take shit work. A series of bad investments, the money wasn’t going to last forever, Isaac. And we like to live comfortably.”

“So, you faked your own death?” Isaac asks. “But Silvia, Cay, you two make good money. You…”

“Like to live comfortably.” Cay cuts him off. “More comfortably than just what our salary provides.”

“But it’s insurance fraud. It’s…” Isaac is walking through his own emotions out loud.

“Oh, the insurance companies?!” Niles does a fake whining voice and then laughs at his own joke. “The same insurance companies that charge you exuberant amounts when you need them for nothing. And then when you had that one day lapse between renewals, Isaac, and you needed to go to the ER, were they understanding? No, you paid out of pocket! The same billion dollar leeches that sap everyone of their money and fight providing help at every possible turn that they can. Do you really feel badly that the insurance company may be losing money?”

Isaac thinks for a moment. “I guess not…”

“Besides…” Niles continues. “I’m done with the spotlight. Anything to get the press and the fans off my back.”

“And I quite enjoy the extra attention.” Silvia grins.

That’s apparent.

“I guess, I get it.” Isaac says. “I hate attention too. Not that I get so much as an editor, but what I do get, I could completely live without.”

“Exactly. Staying off the grid is better. Most sense you’ve ever made.” Niles smiles at Isaac.

Isaac smiles back. “The press!” He scoffs. “The fans! All of ‘em. Who needs ‘em?!”

For the first time ever, everyone in the family laughs at one of Isaac’s jokes.

“So glad to hear you say that.” Niles adjusts his overcoat. “You have a big life insurance policy, right?”

“I do!” Isaac’s eyes gleam like a kid on Christmas morning, excited to finally feel included in the family’s festivities. “Are we going to fake my death too?”

Niles reaches into his overcoat.

“Fake?!” Niles removes a chef's knife. “What do you know about acting?!”



About the Creator

Stephen Kramer Avitabile

I'm a creative writer in the way that I write. I hold the pen in this unique and creative way you've never seen. The content which I write... well, it's still to be determined if that's any good.


Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  3. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  2. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (11)

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  • Randy Wayne Jellison-Knock8 months ago

    Great story, marvelous twisting (of the knife) at the end. One editorial note: First paragraph of the final section you have "Cat" instead of "Cay".

  • Excellent storytelling ❤️‍🔥📝💯🎯❗

  • Heather N King11 months ago

    Your writing style is engaging and flows effortlessly, making it easy for readers like me to get absorbed in the narrative. I appreciate how you balanced the eerie elements with a touch of humor, creating a unique reading experience. Your attention to detail and vivid descriptions painted a vivid picture in my mind, allowing me to imagine the extravagant lifestyles and idiosyncrasies of the rich. Moreover, I loved how you explored the underlying message about the human desire for uniqueness and the lengths some individuals go to stand out. It made me reflect on the ways in which we all strive to express ourselves, regardless of our social status.

  • Melissa Ingoldsby12 months ago

    This IS a winner. Damn your characters and dialogue is subtle yet just scathing! I loved it damn 💕💕💕

  • JBaz12 months ago

    Top story. Congratulations. I would like this to be the winner.

  • Dana Stewart12 months ago

    Great read! I loved the character development and I didn’t see that end coming!

  • JBaz12 months ago

    Oh, such a great story, beautiful build and wonderfully written to tease us to the end. And what a great ending. Always enjoy your work, this one stands out.

  • I loved this, what a great story. You are on fire!

  • The shocking thing ain't how emotionless Cay was or the content of the tape or even Niles faking his own death. It was Mammary Monday! That had my head spinning! I was like wth am I reading! And thank God Wiener Wednesday didn't become a thing 🤣🤣🤣🤣

  • Naomi Gold12 months ago

    Haha, I was laughing the whole time. 🤣 Mammary Monday… stiff… what do you know about acting! 🔪

  • J. S. Wade12 months ago

    Ha! Great story! Love the ending! 😊😎🥰

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