Thursday, August 06, 2009

Short Story again

Cheque in a Bottle

Imagine being the richest man in the world. Then imagine being the unhappiest. Will Bates was one such man; richest and unhappiest man in the world. Being the founder of Macrohard; a multi-billion dollar software company, and the brainchild of the modern computer generation, Will Bates had created history. As much as he was filthy rich, he was also very charitable. He and his wife Rebecca of 22 years, had established a world renowned NGO, generated billions through charity work, eradicated several diseases, among other great world changing achievements.

However, Will Bates was unhappy. He had everything, but he felt unworthy of it all. It was not as if he’d never been happy. It was a phase he was going through, a mid-life crisis if you may. It was at this point in his life that he started doing some serious introspection about his life and himself. He wondered if it was destiny that made him “Will Bates”. He wanted to play with his destiny; challenge the forces that brought him to the position in the world he was given.

Will Bates had come with his family on his ship, for the summer, voyaging this time in the Atlantic. He was sitting on the deck, sipping wine when his thoughts were distracted when Amy, his eleven year old, walked onto the deck clutching a cheque book, her expression inquisitive. Her father said to her, “Please, hand it over, you shan’t be walking around the ship with that “. Amy returned her new found discovery reluctantly and ran downstairs to the kitchen below, hoping to find something more interesting to fidget with.

Suddenly, the idea struck Will Bates, looking at his cheque book. “That’s it! All I have to do is, just write out a cheque and put it in the bottle!” he thought. He wrote out a bearer’s cheque for “Sixty-Two Billion Dollars only”, rolled it up, put it in the wine bottle, sealed it, and flung it across the calm waters. He felt childish doing the action but at the same time he felt exhilarated. He pondered, “If someone shall discover my cheque I will know I’m not meant to be ‘richest man in the world’”. The uncertainty of the cheque ever being chanced upon, gave him a heady feeling. He felt it was a bleak risk that he would wake up absolutely broke one day. Coupled with being tipsy from all the wine, he got up and went to his room feeling slightly glum.

Fifty-six days later, all property of Will Bates had been transferred to one Bermudan fisherwoman, Miss Jahquae Wilkinson. Will Bates, supremely astonished at this twist of fate, which he secretly never expected, died of cardiac arrest.