Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Good and Bad (05/07/09)
TITLE: The Inheritance
By Patricia Turner
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Cameron’s lips curled into a similar look without a return glance that clearly said I’m dimly interested and absolutely bored.
“I hope the old geezer left the furnishings and…”
“…the silver as well,” finished Cameron.
“Oh, won’t your sister be just chapped that you got the house? I guess that’s what she gets for leaving home with that no-good bum and her share of the inheritance when she was only seventeen.”
“Chris won’t even know. No one has even seen or heard of her since she left.”
“Well, at least you knew enough to stick around and take care of things while the old man waited and grieved.”
“Yes, the older child is usually the responsible goody two shoes.” Cameron’s tone wasn’t exactly bitter, but certainly not as upbeat as hers.
“Oh come on, darling. You may be the goody two shoes as you call yourself, but Chris is definitely the bad seed.”
The attorney’s office was on a quiet side street. The two entered the foyer and waited, impatiently consulting their Rolexes.
A younger man came around the corner and greeted them. “Roger Winston at your service,” a firm hand clasp matching the young man’s courteous demeanor.
“This way please.” Roger ushered the couple into a conference room.
At the table, on the far side, sat a woman neither of them recognized. Her hair, which appeared to be a strawberry blonde, was tucked up under a small fuchsia colored hat. The hat matched a tailored suit, as well as the nail polish on her manicured fingernails.
When she looked up at them, Cameron stopped short, seemingly in shock. “Hi sis,” he finally managed. Marion awkwardly took the woman’s hand, shaking it wordlessly as Cameron introduced them. The steady grey-blue eyes did not match her image of the “bad seed” they had discussed on the way here.
“Hello Cameron. You look like you’ve seen a ghost,” smiled Chris.
“Well, why not! You have some nerve coming back now that it’s too late and apparently believing that you have any share in the old man’s inheritance!”
“Well, actually…” Chris began but stopped as the attorney, Max Middleman entered the room.
“Let’s get started and get finished. I have a lunch appointment at one o’clock.” Middleman took a seat at the head of the table.
“This will be pretty simple,” said the attorney. He picked up a remote and clicked a button, which brought down a video screen. Another button click started a projector which was suspended from the ceiling.
The attorney observed the reactions of those seated at the table when his client, Mr. Halcyon, appeared on the screen. One leaned forward, staring intently at the screen. Another sat peacefully smiling at the projected image of the gentleman, while the third yawned and inspected her fingernails.
“My children,” began a voice that wavered only slightly.
“This is my last will and testament.”
“Finally,” muttered Marion under her breath.
“Cameron, you are my first born, and my only son. I’ve loved you and I know you sacrificed much to remain at home and take care of things for so long when you might have gone out and done your own thing. To you, I leave the house, and all that is in it.”
Marion sat up a little straighter, a smile playing around her lasciviously lips.
“Marion, as Cameron’s wife, and my only daughter-in-law, I leave you the silver and china in the oak buffet.”
“Christina, my only daughter,” Halcyon smiled affectionately. “You took your share of my inheritance when you left home at seventeen. For that, I forgive you, my love. But you know that already, as I told you when you returned.”
Cameron and Marion both turned with a gasp. “Dad never told us you had returned,” Cameron blurted out.
Halcyon concluded. “And my daughter, as you said, that’s all you really wanted.”
Chris smiled at the image on the screen. “That’s right Daddy, I have everything else I need, in fact already.”
Cameron and Marion rose to leave.
“Can you stay?” Chris asked them as Roger reentered the room.
“Are you two ready,” asked Middleman.
Roger took Chris’s hand. “I have the ring”, the young assistant attorney said, smiling tenderly into her eyes.
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