Brag – B. Hodges

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My trust fund.

It has given me access to a life that few have only dreamed.

In my late forties I finally realized how bored I had become. Sex, cars, and drugs were fun in my twenties. My thirties kept me busy with travel. I built a business reputation in my forties and soon I was friends with senators, celebrities, and athletes. Eventually, every purchase was a competitive tool used to brag against my friends. Any odd object or service I could buy to intrigue jealously was worth the money. For years a constant supply of one-ups fueled my interests.

Last month, while drinking a glass of Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve, I looked around my home disgusted. It was a shame to fill a beautiful 10,000 square foot mansion full of useless junk. Half of the services I was paying for I only used once. An image sent out in my group message was the most use I got out of many of the objects I bought during that time. I took another sip of whiskey and decided to end this practice for good.

To end the silly feud I was going to buy something than no one else could buy. I didn’t want something rare, handmade, or historic. I wanted something that could NOT be bought by anyone else. I contacted people I knew in every dark corner of the world to expand my scope of possible ideas. Surprising as it may seem, every rich man has ten rich friends, but a thousand poor ones.

It only took a week before I had a sea of options at my feet. My selections filled every spectrum from vague to eerily specific to humorous to numbing. The possibilities included sex from every age, race, gender, or nationality to playing “surgeon” on actual patients. One event, which only cost $50,000, was to go hunting for bald eagles. The more I looked over the list the more my faith in humanity vanished.

Until I got to the end.

The last item piqued my interest even after all the muck I read through beforehand. Before responding to my associates I thought about the list and what possession would force eternal jealously onto my friends. The last entry continued to penetrate my curiosity so I agreed to the deal and my associates organized the purchase.

It took five days to arrive, but my excitement stalled time into what seemed like years. After its arrival my butler displayed the small wooden box in my bedroom so I could enjoy my lust in private.

I was eager to see what my $850,000 prize looked like, so after carefully removing the wooden box, I slid open the cloth case and stared in amazement.

My purchase was a small glass bottle topped with a cork. A small strip of paper had handwritten instructions:

“10 SOULS. DO NOT OPEN. DO NOT KEEP IN PUBLIC LOCATION.”

Seeing the small bottle and handwritten note sucked the excitement from my body. The products used for delivery were cheap and tacky. The note was not typed, but written in a hurried handwriting that was difficult to read. The bottle was empty. The entire presentation of my gift left me bitter and severely angry.

I was tricked, bamboozled, fucked, deceived, screwed, swindled. My $850,000 plan for the ultimate unattainable gift was foiled with a cheap wooden box, a glass bottle, and a poorly written note.

After splintering the box against the wall my butler attended to me. Although now I regret screaming at him to leave, the moment was so infuriating. My associates were always careful with my . . . more, unique requests. They let this scam slip through the cracks. After a few sips of whiskey my temper settled and a laugh bellowed from my stomach. I might as well make the best of it.

I grabbed the bottle to start pouring in my whiskey since a wealthy man always needs a new decanter. I tried popping the cork top but had to set down my whiskey to use more force. After an embarrassing struggle I removed the cork with a loud POP.

Violent screams filled my room while a whirlwind sent my lighter belongings flying around the room. As paintings fell from the walls I searched for the source of the screams but there was nothing. A direct shove sent me flying into my dresser and split my eyebrow like a pecan husk. As a warm sensation covered my face I heard the screams echo down the hallway and into the rest of my home.

Bailey took advantage of our free program for authors. Do you have a story you’d like to share? Share Your Story

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