Word Count 495
To Bequeath or Not to Bequeath
by G. Ackman
Ophelia sat uncomfortably in the red leather chair across the desk from her lawyer. She adjusted her dress over her knees, then took off her gloves and laid them demurely across her lap. She sighed audibly.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” he asked
“Yes, I have thought long and hard about it. My nephew deserves this. He has been living with me for the past five years. I am sure.”
“Ok. You are the boss” he said with a smile.
Back at the house, Ophelia sat down to lunch across from Clay, whose smile did not quite meet his eyes. He asked how her errands went and her noncommittal “as well as could be expected” did not elicit a response from him. The meal was finished in silence and she then went upstairs to lie down for a bit.
Four months later, she was gone. Clay arranged the funeral and the social gathering at the house afterward. All the usual comments were said: “she lived a good life,” “she is in a better place,” and “she will be missed.” Clay smiled until he felt that his jaw would never unclench.
Three days after the funeral, Clay sat in that red leather chair, eagerly anticipating the lawyer’s words. He knew he was his aunt’s closest relative and the only one who had been a part of her life for the past several years. He had already planned what he was going to do with the inheritance. Sell that monstrosity of a house for one thing. He had already gotten rid of her two pesky dachshunds. And then, of course, there was the reason he was here…
Oh, he had known he was going to inherit, but maybe he helped it along a bit. Forgetting her medicine now and then. Giving her twice as much sometimes. That morning three days ago. Carrying her breakfast tray up the stairs he heard her call for him, then a gurgle like she was choking. He could have gone to her, called the ambulance, helped. But he didn’t. He sat on the stairs and waited until there was complete and utter silence from her bedroom. A silence that would net him close to two million dollars. A silence that would mean he would never have to listen to her repetitive, boring stories again. A silence that would mean he could finally live the life he deserved to live.
He cautiously opened the door, saying “did you call for me? I was fixing breakfast” just in case. But she was gone. And now, here he was, ready to inherit.
The lawyer began reading, “I, Ophelia, being of sound mind and body, do hereby bequeath my entire estate to…” Clay passed out when the words “my two dachshunds who will be put under the care of the local humane society for the rest of their natural lives, and that society will then become my sole beneficiary.” She gave him what he deserved.