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Fast Fiction: Behind It All

So is the money a gift, or a payment?

Richard Mallinson’s short story leaves you the reader to answer that question.

'Here's another five hundred,' I said to her. 'Take care of it.'

'You usually say don't spend it all at once.'

'Yes, I was getting rather predictable, wasn't I?'

'I wonder what you'll say next time.'

'Don't worry, I'll think of something.'

'Oh, I'm not worried - not about that, anyway ... But I would like to know who's behind it all... I mean, who's giving me this - ?'

'Actually, if I were you, I wouldn't ask too many questions . .. Just accept it as a gift, eh? . .. Five hundred pounds a month in cash, to do with as you wish . . . What more do you want?'

*

'I know,' she said a month later. 'I know who's behind it all.'

'No, you don't,' I said.

'Yes, I do ... it's you, isn't it?'

'Me? I'm just a solicitor, acting on behalf of a client

'Oh? .. . Well, I wonder if your client expects something in return.'

'Ah, he rather tends to think that it... depends on you . . .'

'Ye-es,' she said, 'I rather suppose it does.'

'Anyway,' I said quickly, ‘I’ll speak to him before the next payment - and I'll let you know what he has to say, I promise.'

'Oh, so it's a payment, now, is it?'

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