Flies, damned flies, and stacked biscuits

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: CLOG
Who can you trust these days?

Submitted: October 16, 2016

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Submitted: October 16, 2016

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Flies, damned flies, and stacked biscuits

by

Mark Roman and Corben Duke

 

Good day to you. My name is Mr Benjamin Mbibi-yaya of Lagos, Nigeria. I am an honest man living in a world of much dishonesty, as you will see from the story I am about to tell you.

A couple of weeks ago I was visiting my late client’s widow, Mrs Robinseki, to offer her my condolences on the untimely death of her husband. She was busy with funeral arrangements at their splendid mansion. My emotions were mixed; it was a sad occasion for sure, but I was excited to see her. You see, I have a soft spot for the lady – and a bit of a hard spot, too, if you know what I am saying. A beautiful, beautiful woman, not so young these days, and with a much fuller figure than she used to have – but the kind of roundedness that I find the most appealing.

Dressed in black, looking stunning, she stood with her arms open in welcome. All around her was the frenzied activity of personal assistants and servants hurrying this way and that. But the room was also full of those pesky blow-flies which are everywhere at this time of year and which seem to be magnetically attracted to me.

I approached her, head bowed, batting away the insects, and said I was very sorry for her loss.

She took my hands in hers and gave them a warm squeeze. “Thank you, Benjamin. You are so sweet. But you know my husband was a complete bastard.”

I blinked, unsure what to say.

“Hobnob?” She handed me an open tin of the oat-based biscuits, some chocolate-covered, some not, but the sight of all the flies on them put me off. Then she glanced around the room before ushering me on tiptoe into a side office, away from the bustle. “Business,” she whispered, tapping the side of her nose.

A shiver of excitement shot through me as she seated us both on a sofa, me with the tin of Hobnobs on my lap. The very proximity of her voluptuous body stirred up feelings that contravened most of the rules taught by Bishop Barry Adebanjo. I was sweating profusely, and this seemed to make the flies as excited as I was. Damn those flies.

She edged closer to me, taking one of my hands in hers. “My husband, Thomas,” she started, “had a secret bank account …”

“Oh,” I said, trying to hide the disappointment in my voice. She really did mean ‘business’.

“… with a vast amount of illegal money in it. About 60 million US dollars.”

I whistled.

“Now, you are a clever man, ...”

I blushed under her intense gaze. More flies buzzed around me and I flapped a useless hand at them.

“… a graduate of the University of Cambridge!”

“Canbridge,” I corrected her. It was a mistake I had also made when applying to this online college. It is now closed for reasons that are not relevant here.

“I need your clever lawyer brain to find a way of getting at that money without alerting the tax authorities.”

“Ah,” I said with a nod of understanding. I rubbed my chin in thought, squashing a fly in the process. After a minute, I said, “Hmm. I would say we need someone with a foreign bank account. We transfer the funds there and the tax authorities are none the wiser.”

Mrs Robinseki’s eyes lit up and she clapped her hands. “Good idea, Benjamin! Maybe one of your Cambridge friends?”

“Canbridge,” I repeated, but didn’t press the point. “Leave it with me.”

“I will reward you most generously.” She beamed at me and winked in a manner that was most suggestive.

I rose from the sofa, my trembling hands clutching the biscuit tin in front of me to cover my feelings. The flies followed me out of the building. I left the tin of Hobnobs on one of the steps outside.

*

“How does this sound?” I asked her the next day as I paced my living room, reading a draft letter: “‘I am Mr Benjamin Mbibi-yaya, personal attorney of the late Mr Thomas Robinseki, Finance Minister of Nigeria, of blessed memory, may his soul rest in peace. I have a mutually benefiting business proposal for a trustworthy foreign partner ...’”

Mrs Robinseki watched me with her gorgeous brown eyes. When I had finished, and stood awaiting her verdict, she smiled and said, “You write like an angel.”

My knees weakened, forcing me to grab the back of a chair for support before allowing myself to slump into it.

She mulled over our plan. “Do you have anyone in mind?”

“I have a list of people,” I said. I thought it best not tell her it had come from a Facebook page devoted to dogs with exceptional singing and dancing potential.

“And the partner would get $1 million?”

I nodded. “For their trouble, and in compensation for the small administrative fee of $10,000 they’d need to provide to release the funds.”

“Excellent!” Mrs Robinseki grinned. Then she approached me. “You are such a clever boy.”  She swept a hand through my hair, causing not just my hopes to rise. “The flies love you, Benjamin. It is a lucky sign.”

*

A few days later when she phoned to ask how it was going I had to admit I hadn’t received a single response to my e-mails, even though I had sent over 100.

It was the same story when she called a week – and another 100 e-mails – later. I didn’t tell her about the seven abusive replies I had received, nor about the two messages threatening me with the police. There is no understanding some people. Here was the opportunity of a lifetime to earn a large sum of money for hardly any effort, and all they could do was be insulting!

Worse, Mrs Robinseki seemed to be losing faith in me. So I upped the rate of mailing until, at last, a promising response came back. I called Mrs Robinseki immediately and she took me to an expensive cafe to celebrate. I cannot tell you the joy I felt.

The happiness lasted but six days. The cheque for $10,000 duly arrived from Mr Michael Mouse of Penge, London, and I took it to the bank – only to learn a day later that it had bounced and I would be liable for bank charges. The shock of this was great. How can anyone perform such an act of brazen dishonesty? Unbelievable. Really, you cannot trust people these days. It is a very, very sad state of affairs.

And so, unhappily, that is how things stand at present. The $60 million is still in the bank and out of reach, and Mrs Robinseki doesn’t call anymore. I am beginning to lose all hope.

But, my dear Reader, maybe you can help. If you are an honest person and interested in a business proposition that would make you very rich, please contact me, Mr Benjamin Mbibi-yaya, on b.mbibi-yaya@hotmail.co.ng.

 


© Copyright 2017 Mark Roman. All rights reserved.

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