He’s a cut above other London beggars. He created his own outlandish rules. No photos. No conversation. Small change frowned upon. Approach with respect. Bow gracefully. Offer your gift.

For donations of one hundred quid or more, you’ll get a folded scrap of paper containing a hand-written line from Shakespeare. Nobody quite understands the charm, the mystique, the raw magnetism of the man. Perhaps it’s just that he’s disarmingly different. Whatever the reason, everyone flocks to him.

At dusk, he sheds his disguise and returns to the manor.

“Successful day, m’lord?”

“Excellent, Briggs. Brandy in the library?”

“Very good, sir.”

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Voice-Team
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Voice-Team(@voice-team)
1 year ago

Clever and riveting, with an unexpected ending. The Shakespeare angle was especially nice. We were drawn in by the title.

Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
1 year ago

Well someone has to pay for the upkeep of the family pile, don’t you know. Ha ha, I’d take a brandy with him any day just to toast his ingenuity. I love the character you’ve created Fuji, different indeed!

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

I love it, Fuji.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago
Reply to  Fuji

You’re welcome, Fuji.

Julie Harris
Julie Harris(@julie-harris)
1 year ago

What a great story, Fuji! Like Linda, I’d love to share a brandy with m’lord and hear some of his stories!

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
1 year ago

Ha, ha ?, I love the end Fuji. Did you already have the ending in mind Fuji, or did it come to you as you wrote it? It’s nice to understand the story teller, as I think you are quite unique.

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
1 year ago

Great story Fuji, and not as outlandish as it might appear. I’ve heard stories before of people begging in shop doorways, with the addition of an unkempt looking dog. At the end of the day, when all the people have gone home, the beggar packs up his stuff, walks round the corner, packs it all in his Range Rover and drives home for a nice hot dinner with his wife.

Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
1 year ago

Fuji, this was well-told. So many people are being tricked this way. Your protagonist sounds like quite a character, why else would everyone flock to him? I enjoyed reading this.

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Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
1 year ago

An intriguing and very well written story, Fuji. I love your use of words, including the Shakespeare quote, and wonder if you had that line from A Midsummer Night’s Dream in mind when you started or if you pulled it out of your sleeve as the story manifested.

As for beggars living in mansions and being very rich, I wonder if such stories aren’t urban myths. In this part of the world (Colombia), inequality is a huge problem, with about 25% of the population living under the poverty line and about 8% in extreme poverty (also many refugees from Venezuela). I see poor people every day and cannot imagine that any single of them goes back home to a life of luxury after a day’s begging. Maybe there are a few exceptions in rich countries, but I think it’s a (popular?) myth that the average beggar makes more money than working people.

Jason K
Jason K(@jason-k)
1 year ago

Disarmingly different really hits the mark.

Great read.

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
1 year ago

Congratulations, Fuji! A well earned win with your always so beautiful language and wonderful composed content.

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Julie Harris
Julie Harris(@julie-harris)
1 year ago

Congratulations, Fuji! A great story, and a well-deserved win.

Eduardo Olivares
Eduardo Olivares(@eduardo-olivares)
1 year ago

Proper ghosts need the proper adjectives. I really love the way you conduct the reader right into the core of this unique touching surprise: right there where a long gone genius returns to pave his way back to the soul of words.

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Eduardo Olivares
Eduardo Olivares(@eduardo-olivares)
1 year ago
Reply to  Fuji

Indeed, I stopped my normal fast manner of reading to the pure and crystal amazement of your way of ending this fantastic short piece. I wasn’t expecting that. You made my eyes !!!

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

Congratulations, Fuji.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago
Reply to  Fuji

You’re welcome, Fuji. I am happy about your achievement. 

Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
1 year ago

I can’t tell you how much I loved your story Fuji. A character that I’d really enjoy to see explored further. Huge congratulations on your win, so very well deserved.

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
1 year ago

Congratulations Fuji. This was a very clever story. Well done.

Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
1 year ago

Fuji, this was a great story. Congratulations on your win!

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Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson(@susan-dawson)
1 year ago

Very clever twist, Fuji.

Lydia E Atzemian
Lydia E Atzemian(@lydia-e-atzemian)
1 year ago

As per usual, a sense of purpose in your every word. Impressive!

Sandra James
Sandra James(@sandra-james)
1 year ago

Well done, Fuji! I love the twist at the end. An intriguing character and I can’t help but like him in some way!
A couple of years ago here in Australia I read news reports of quite wealthy people from overseas coming to Melbourne, dressing in rags, (some pretending to be disabled) and begging. Apparently they made a lot of money preying on people’s sympathy and kindness 🙁

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