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Millicent DaLuke

Written and illustrated by Katie Blake 1999


Millicent DaLuke burst into this world without so much as a whimper from her mother’s womb.


Having borne the next generation, the DaLukes went promptly back to work. Millicent was left with a sturdy nanny.


The nanny has some priors, earning her a spot on America’s most wanted list. Despite this, she taught Millicent to read and to make ramen. In exchange Millicent didn’t make any incriminating phone calls.


As soon as she was able, Millicent took tests and got her G.E.D. She had tiny fingers and a diploma so she easily got a job polishing worn pipes. “Plumbers don’t do the most thorough job.” She said.


Despite her career, it soon became obvious that she should marry. Marriage you see meant that her parents could retire. A pool man who had seen her work knew instantly that Millicent DaLuke was ‘the one’. He professed his love and showed her his bank statements.


O dear, she thought, Mother and Father wouldn’t be happy if I married a pool man. Water is so common and your money can’t buy mink or nine holes at Pebble Beach. “No, I’m sorry.” She told him. The pool man left without a word.


Soon after, Millicent married a seemingly wealthy playboy who was quite ancient. Ms. and Mr. DaLuke retired with firm convictions as to who would control the remote, and fell peaceably into their golden years with Millicent’s platinum credit card.


Millicent’s husband coughed terribly one day and was dead the next afternoon, in time to make the six o’clock news. It turned out they said that the newly widowed Millicent was the sole beneficiary of her late spouse’s debt. The credit card companies were planning to sue her for conspiracy to default payment on a grand larceny scale. The bastard had high limits but no liquid assets and had been transferring balances since before they’d met.


Millicent tried to balance her checkbook because the mink and club membership had stayed with the elder DaLuke’s. Now without platinum card comfort the poor girl went back to work polishing pipes heedless of her grown fingers.


Trimmed from their extra movie channels and with now limited internet, Millicent’s parents shriveled up and died fighting over the remote. Less that obligation, Millicent moved to Canada, defaulting on every bill including her late husband’s student loans.


There, she lived off tips waitressing hockey games in the beer garden. She ended up blissful as the common law wife of the Zamboni driver, who, as it turns out was her pool man.



Millicent DaLuke an artists book by Katie Blake