'Mr Baird' by Skip H
“Good afternoon Mr Baird, sir” she said as she opened the creaking door. Mr Baird stepped inside the room. He was unsure what the room actually was. It was dark with bare floor boards, there was a bed in a recess in which four children cowered trying hard not to make eye contact with the man.
The smell was something he had never experienced before, a mixture of human sweat and filth mingling with the smell of cooking. At the side of the coal fire was a pot of simmering brown liquid which he assumed was today’s meal.
Her husband was working his shift deep down in Mr Baird’s coal mine. Mr Baird pretended to look interested for a few minutes then asked if everything was satisfactory. The wife replied, “Yes sir, Mr Baird,” knowing full well that any other reply would have serious repercussions. Mr Baird smiled, nodded and left.
The wife and her husband, with several other employees and spouses received an invitation to attend an afternoon tea at Mr Baird’s country mansion. They were transported to the venue and on arrival were met by Mr and Mrs Baird, their two daughters and their staff.
After having tea, sandwiches and pastries that none of the invited quests had ever seen, never mind tasted before, they were ushered into the Baird’s home.
A marble staircase led to a set of ornate oak front doors which opened as if by magic as they approached them. Inside the doors was a massive fireplace above which hung portraits of stern looking gentlemen and unhappy looking ladies. The room smelled of flowers and polished wood. There then followed a tour of the gardens before everyone was transported back home.
Back in their house the wife asked her husband how one man could have so much. He replied, “By making sure we never have enough.”