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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “All that Glitters is Not Gold” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/24/08)

TITLE: Natural Ability
By David Ritchie


From an early age it was clear that Joe certainly knew how to earn a pound. Although not the most intelligent, his ability to earn a ‘few bob’ (shillings) was uncanny, often to the bewilderment of his more intellectual friends. Even as a lad he really annoyed them at Monopoly, beating them time after time. He was a natural wheeler and dealer.

This latest investment opportunity really had the friends talking and indeed many warned him against the purchase, but of course there was a tinge of jealousy and they never had the financial foresight of Joe. The artist’s impression of it was lavish and it had pound signs written over it, however the job he had to give up was as secure as a job could be. The words of his friends floated through his head as he drove home, but what did they know, they had never taken any real risk in their lives. They were all in secure but low to moderate paid jobs

By now he was home and as he expected Fran was still upset. A better wife he could not get and it hurt him when she was upset. She never understood finance and it was his enterprising mind that provided for them to be living in this marvellous house all paid up. Had it been left to Fran they would still have been in the two-roomed flat over the bakers shop, he mused smiling to himself.

"Let me do the fretting Fran," he said stroking her hair as they relaxed by the coal fire. Feeling her body quiver he held her close.
"The house will only be re-mortgaged for a short time, property is on the rise and the resale price is in the region that people only dream about, there really is no risk."
"But your job is so secure, and you have never been involved in selling apartments."
"No job is secure Fran, not even mine and these apartments will sell themselves."

Six weeks later the sale completed and they found themselves at their favourite restaurant celebrating Joe's first sale.

"Piece of cake," said Joe in high spirits. Fran was more relaxed and even smiling a little.
"After supper I'm taking you to see my office and the plans for the next phase you'll love it."
"Next phase ..." Joe cut her off.
"Let's go and see, you're in for a surprise Fran."
Joe was surprised, he was nor sure she would come far less be pleased with what she saw, but she loved it. She did not really understand plans, but she understood the artist's impression of phase two.

"How are you going to pay for this Joe, this was more than our re-mortgage and phase two will cost an absolute fortune. How are you paying for this Joe?"
"That's for me to worry about Fran," he replied slipping his arm around her and wishing now that he had never brought her.

But he had and for the next week there was a ‘very frosty atmosphere’. She hated debt and she now knew that this was no quick return investment as Joe had said. They had passed the arguing stage, now very few words were being exchanged between them, however she had detected that Joe was very frustrated. There was plenty on interest and appointments to view, in fact he was rushed off his feet but he could not close the sale. Following an uneasy evening they went to bed at different times with very little said.

Fran awoke with a start the next morning; it was Joe's voice downstairs.

"No, No, Noooo!"
By the time she got down Joe was stretched over the table hands on head and totally unresponsive. Panic stricken and wondering whether to phone the doctor or an ambulance she heard the newscaster say, "Billions of pounds has been wiped off the world's stock markets as the property market has crashed sending shares tumbling ..."

As she viewed her husband moaning over the table, she was aware that this home that was mortgage free only a few weeks ago, would have to go. Even that would not cover the debts they had so recently acquired. Yes she thought the artist's impression was fantastic and the resale price is certainly something 'we are going to dream about' for a long time.

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This article has been read 402 times
Member Comments
Member Date
James Dixon01/31/08
Your work had impact because it is so topical. Well done.
Sara Harricharan 02/05/08
Ouch! I so wish that it didn't have to end this way. That if, every once in the while when everyone, including those dearest to us are speaking about the pros and cons, if we'd only see! lol. You portrayed this very convincingly and I liked the comparison to the artist's impression, that was very good. Nice job here! ^_^
Joanney Uthe02/06/08
Excellent example of the topic. One that hits home with many these days. You do a great job conveying his concern for his wife and the "protect her from truth" mentality.