Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: GREED (03/08/18)
- TITLE: The Antidote
By Francie Snell
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A man standing nearby wearing a butlers uniform bowed slightly. “Certainly madam.”
“And bring me my phone while you’re at it.”
He nodded, then disappeared through the open French doors that lead into the kitchen.
Joann sauntered across the patio and settled upon a chair set by a table, a matching set exquisitely fashioned in polished marble. With admiration, she slowly brushed her fingertips across the table top, and reminisced about her victory at the furniture auction the day before. She had paid a high price for the purchase. Her face tingled as the heat of excitement rushed to her head.
Sansa returned with a full glass of the tomato juice mixture in one hand and a cell phone in the other. He nodded. “Madam.”
She took the drink, and the phone and immediately pressed a button on the phone’s key pad with her thumb. She sipped on the drink with the phone to her ear and waited until it answered.
“Well,” she asked, “is it mine yet?”
Her eyes narrowed as she listened. After a moment, she lashed out. “Oh, what difference does that make? Those families will just have to find another place to live. There are other island’s where they can go.”
Again, with anger in her eyes, she listened intently to the voice on the other end, then said with a sneer. “I don’t care, Bradly, I really must have it. They and their ancestors have occupied that island long enough! I want it, and if you can’t make this happen, I’ll just have to find another real estate attorney who will,” she said with a huff and slammed down the receiver.
Fuming with frustration, she thought about the island she believed should be hers. Blinded by her obsession to obtain the prized real estate, she continued to wrestle with thoughts that raged in her mind.
Yet, as she grappled in her thoughts, a quiet memory pulled her back to a place with her father many years before.
Joann’s father, Will, lay in his bed with worry on his face. A week had passed since the doctor had announced the diagnosis.
“We need to make some changes to the estate,” he said solemnly. “I don’t want it tied up in probate court after I’m gone. Set up an appointment with the attorney as soon as possible.”
Joann felt numb as she dialed the phone. A week later she was signing papers making her the executor of her father’s multi-million dollar estate. A few days after that, Will held the signed documents to his chest as he laid in the hospital bed.
He gazed at his daughter with tenderness through his wrinkled eyes. “Don’t let this money take control of you, babe. You know, money has a strange way of doing that. Sometimes it changes people in ugly ways.
Joann nodded with sadness. “Yeah, I know Dad.”
“I wish I could stay here to protect you, Joe, and help you make the right decisions on how to handle your money, but I guess that’s not in the Lord’s plans.”
With watery eyes, she reached out and held her father’s hand. “You don’t have to worry about me Dad. I’ve learned from the best.” She smiled as a tear ran down her cheek.
He squeezed her hand. “Just remember what the Lord says hun: Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Joann took a deep breath and picked up the phone. She pressed a button on the key pad, and after a few rings, it answered.
“Hi Brad, it’s me again. Hey, I’m sorry I’ve been acting like such a mad woman. I don’t know why I act that way. If the Islanders don’t want to sell me their property, so be it.” She sighed as her tensions began to melt away. “There are other things I should invest in, and I don’t think it’s an island.”
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