Friday, July 19, 2013

Flash Fiction Friday

(Wikimedia Commons)

The Inheritance
by Donna L Martin

Kyle stood on the corner and stared at the tall building looming over him.  It looked like the setting of a  gothic mystery he read once.  He almost expected to see huge gargoyles hanging from the tower, their beady eyes watching his every move.

Crossing the plaza, Kyle entered the lobby before pulling the letter out of his back pocket to double check which floor he needed. Last week his life had been simple.  Last week he was just a small town grocery clerk making a small man's wages and hoping one day to meet a nice girl in the produce aisle.  Today, according to the letter he still clutched in his hand, he was the sole heir to a mysterious inheritance and here he was, halfway across the country, to claim it.

Poor Uncle Henry.  Kyle had met him a few times over the years, even liked the old guy.  But Kyle never really believed the tales he used to tell him about his ties to Al Capone. Now, because of a thin family tie and a few summer visits, he was back in the windy city to fulfill an old man's dying wish.  

The elevator glided silently past the floors until it slid to a halt at the 29th one.  Walking down a long corridor covered in green carpet that had seen better days, Kyle glanced at the name on the  glass door before stepping inside.

William P Hollingberry, Solicitor. Even the name sounded as ancient as the office furniture looked, Kyle thought, as he closed the door. Maybe he could quickly sign whatever papers this Mr. Hollingberry told him needed to be signed here instead of back home and make it back to the hotel in time to catch Vanna before she turned too many letters around.

No one was sitting at the shabby front desk and after a few minutes Kyle began to wonder if he was all alone in the office when another door slowly opened with a slight squeaking sound.  Resting heavily on a hand-carved walking cane, an elderly man slowly made his way across the  room to stand in front of Kyle.

"You must be Henry's nephew, Kyle. Why, I'd know you anywhere!" The old man's blue-veined hand grasped his and Kyle suppressed the urge to pull it quickly out of reach. There was something about the old man, something about the office itself which gave him the creeps.  Maybe he never should have come.  Maybe Uncle Henry would have been better off taking whatever this mysterious inheritance was to his grave. Too late to turn back now, Kyle realized, when the old man grasped his hand a little tighter and began to tug him in the direction of the inner office.

"Let's go have a chat about your inheritance, shall we?" the lawyer said with a strange smirk and Kyle had no choice but to follow him into the other room...

***Okay, it's your turn!  What happens next?  Did Uncle Henry really have ties to Al Capone? What is this mysterious inheritance and why did Kyle have to travel all the way across country to claim it? Would it have been safer for Kyle to stay home or is someone else out to claim his inheritance?  Put your creative cap on and add a sentence or add a paragraph.  Continue my story or start one of your own.  Join the fun and see where this picture prompt takes us!***


  1. Love the beginning. How many of these ideas do you actually pursue into larger writing projects, i.e., short stories, vignettes, novels?

    1. Hi Christine! Glad you liked it. The thing about my flash fiction is they are a rapid fire response to a picture prompt. So basically if you gave me ten pictures and about an hour I could probably come up with ten different stories. That being said, unfortunately I don't have the time I want to be able to expand on most of these stories. I took one of my flash fiction stories about a year ago and am working on expanding has become my young adult fantasy novel I'm halfway through writing...;~)

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!

  2. Hi Donna .. I'd go on reading - in fact I'm disappointed I can't! This would make a great story .. as you've set the scene really well - I can imagine the woodworm floating around .. well worming around!

    Cheers - and hope you do finish some more off .. Hilary

    1. Hi Hilary! I'm so glad you enjoyed this flash fiction story. As people tell me they want to read more of my flash fiction pieces, I think I'm going to have to find the time to finish some of them...;~)

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!

  3. No time to write, but I could do a summary!
    The old man is posing as the lawyer and tries to kill Kyle. The man (who wasn't old) is another relative of Al Capone (up the tree was a single child (Kyle's granpa) who had twin sons (Henry and then Don, the man)) (Kyle's Mom came 3 years later) and Don wants the inheritance. :D

    1. Hi Erik! How cool!! If I ever decide to complete this one, I'll have to keep these twists and turns in mind...;~)

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!

  4. "Does today's date mean anything to you?" asked the old lawyer.
    "February 14th? No" was Kyle's puzzled reply.
    "Think by! Think"

    Tetchy old devil Kyle thought then it came to him.
    "St.Valentine's Day!"

    The old man rolled his eyes then squinted malevolently.
    "And what happened on February 14th 1929?"
    "Was the Valentine's Day Massacre 29?" Kyle asked.
    "Yes you imbecile, do you not appreciate the irony of the 29th floor"
    "But what has that got to do with me or you for that matter?"

    The old man looked at Kyle the way a cat would look at a mouse. The old man was going to enjoy this.
    "Your precious Uncle Henry was there helping the South Side gang. For years he hid his ill-gotten share of that night's work and he decided to leave it all to you"
    "Okay, so what is the inheritance and why the attitude?"
    "The inheritance is a safety deposit box key"

    There was a pause and Kyle widened his eyes suggesting he would like the key. The old man opened a drawer and tossed a key onto the desk. As Kyle reached for it the lawyer put his hand back ib the desk and pulled out a gun.
    "Wha-?" Kyle froze.
    "I had an uncle there too" the lawyer told Kyle "Uncle Gusie. I saw him just after your Uncle Henry left him for dead gaving stolen a valuable commodity"
    "Commodity?" Kyle asked trying to buy time.
    "Diamonds. The diamonds your uncle stole from my uncle. They are rightfully mine and having spent years toadying to your uncle they will pass to me, once I get rid of a minor obstacle"
    "Oh dear boy, do you think it is just about the diamonds" the question was rhetorical and the old man's finger began to tighten on the trigger/

    1. Hi JP! No matter the typos, I still get the gist of your addition and what fun! I'll let you in on a little secret. I originally started to type the 30th floor but something...or someone...made me change it at the last minute to the 29th floor. Maybe I was channeling Uncle Henry when I wrote this? ;~)

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!

  5. Lol loads of typos, teach me not to do it in the dark again.