3TC · Fandango's One Word Challenge (FOWC) · fiction · Word of the Day Challenge

Til Death do They Part

the odd couple

Fandango’s FOWC is idiosyncrasy, the Word of the Day Challenge is upside, Paula’s 3 Things Challenge words are prank, insurance, orangutan, and Teresa’s Story Starter Challenge phrase is “You’re in the wrong seat.”

Everett was known by all to be a man of many idiosyncrasies. He lived in the small community of Kalamazoo, where everybody knew everybody. Everybody knew Everett’s ways and accepted them. It was seldom that anything out of the ordinary happened to Everett.

Everett received a letter in the mail one day, from an insurance company. The company said that Everett’s Great Aunt Marie from Chicago had passed on and he had been named the beneficiary of the policy. When Everett called the agent’s number on the letter, he was told he would have to come to the home office in Chicago to sign paperwork, once notarized, would result in either a crisp cashier’s check being issued; or, if he preferred, the funds could be direct-deposited into the checking account of his home bank.

Everett, feeling anxious, asked the agent, “How much am I inheriting?”

The agent, Mr. Genes, responded, “Oh, I”m sorry, Mr. Jackson, I’m not allowed to divulge the amount.”

Everett was distinctly unhappy to be compelled to leave Kalamazoo for Chicago, even though it was a short train ride away. The upside was that he could go see the Chihuly exhibit at the Art Institute while he was there. He purchased the ticket online, got himself a rail pass, and was clickety-clacking his way to Chi-town bright and early the next morning.

About twenty minutes into the ninety-minute ride, just when he was at an exciting part of the paperback novel he brought with him, he heard a voice say, “So sorry, sir, but you’re in the wrong seat.”

Looking up, Everett was quite taken aback at the gentleman and the gentleman’s companion. The gentleman was dressed in a first-class tailored suit, which was somewhat surprising to see, as why would anyone with the funds for a vehicle choose to ride a train. Even more surprising though was the man’s companion – an orangutan.

The man said, “I bought two tickets, side by side, for this trip. You are in my seat and your briefcase is in Clyde’s seat.”

A brief chat with the conductor confirmed that Everett was in the wrong seat. As there was no room left in the car, he was blessed to be shifted to the sleeper car, able to lounge in his bunk and read until they hit Chicago.

First stop was the insurance company of course. He learned that he was the inheritor of $30,000,000. There was only one condition placed on Everett in order to received his monthly trust fund payments: he had to take care of Aunt Marie’s pet in his own home until the end of the pet’s life. Everett had never owned a pet before, as he didn’t like, “filthy animals.” Still, if he wanted the funds, he was willing to do what it took. Besides, how long could a dog or cat live anyway? Everett signed the paperwork and was given a copy of the signed original to take with him. Next stop, the Art Institute, then a lunch at the best place in town afterwards now that he was a very wealthy man.

Mr. Genes said, “What kind of arrangements would you like me to make for Clyde, then?”

Clyde? That’s funny, on my ride in this morning there was an orangutan named Clyde on the train. I had to give up my seat for him.”

Mr. Genes said, “As a matter of fact, Clyde is an orangutan. I see you two have already been introduced.”

Everett’s head started reeling, sure that Mr. Genes was pulling a prank on him. Then he noticed the nicely framed photograph hanging on the rich oak paneling, with Aunt Marie and Mr. Genes, with Clyde standing in the middle, his long arms wrapped around both of them.

Everett’s legs grew week and he crumpled to the floor.

8 thoughts on “Til Death do They Part

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