There were three Frobisher siblings. Each hated the others.

Dominic was eldest. The others hated him because he was successful. Cynthia was next and was detested because she’d divorced four husbands and was still playing the field. Clive was dependent on State support and illegal substances, never having worked in his life.

Theodore Frobisher had been a moderately successful travel author. The siblings were gathered at the office of Raymond Hankin, their father’s solicitor for the reading of Theodore’s will.

Dominic, being business-oriented, had already valued the estate at a pre-tax £1.8 million, give or take a few uncertainties, and had worked out the investment potential of his expected share.

Mr Hankin peered over his half-moon glasses. ‘Thank you, Dominic, for informing me so promptly of your father’s sad death as I could complete all the necessary formalities quicker.’ He cleared his throat. ‘After all due fees and deductions, and the valuation of your father’s property, and in plain English.’ He glanced meaningfully at Clive; this is what you have come here to hear.

‘To Clive I bequeath £10,000, because I don’t want him to squander any more than that.’ Clive looked stunned.

‘To Cynthia I leave £5,000 to hire a shark lawyer and increase her already adequate alimony.’

‘Dominic has all he needs but I leave him £25,000 for having the decency to visit me more than once in twenty years. Twice in fact.’

The siblings regarded each other and Hankin with a mixture of fury and astonishment.

Dominic spoke up. ‘But that’s only £40,000. What about the rest?’

Hankin spoke into his intercom. ‘Send the lady in.’

A tall, elegant African lady walked in. Cynthia estimated sourly that she was probably in her late twenties.

Hankin waved to her. ‘This is Kehlani Frobisher. Your father rescued her as a baby from the Rwanda genocide in 1994. Your parents formally adopted her in 2000. She receives the balance of the inheritance.’

Chaos ensued. Hankin smiled toward Kehlani and shrugged.

Dominic spluttered, ‘I will challenge this.’

Hankin smiled again. ‘Feel free. It will be at your own expense.’

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    Margarida Brei
    Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
    10 months ago

    Alan, your “Siblings” hooked me as a reader from the first line. I enjoyed reading about the different dynamics in the siblings. Glad that the lawyer and father could quietly yet sarcastically put Dominic down.
    Having written a will, any parent must ponder whether his children should inherit based on blood or merit.
    Really eye-opening unique story!

    Melissa Taggart
    Melissa Taggart(@melissa-taggart)
    9 months ago

    Alan, I agree with your comment about this situation being too common. This sort of thing will either bring a family together or tear them asunder. I really enjoyed this original story.

    Preston Randall
    Preston Randall(@preston-randall)
    9 months ago

    This story really rings true, Allan. It’s a sad reflection of our world that money is so often the root cause of so many family problems. Your story provided much satisfaction in doling out some just rewards. Well done!

    Christer Norrlof
    Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
    9 months ago

    So, Kehlani won the lottery and the three children were left with only scraps. Its a satisfying and well told story, Allan, and one can only hope that Kehlani deserved the money and that she will use it in a good and clever way. I Iike your concentrated presentation of the situation and all the characters involved.

    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    9 months ago

    Allan, I really enjoyed your story. Each received what they deserved. I imagined the reaction of Dominic, Clive, and Cynthia when they meet Kehlani. Very well done.

    Merry Christmas and advance happy new year.

    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    Reply to  Allan Neil
    9 months ago

    You are welcome.

    Linda Rock
    Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
    8 months ago

    I always love the subtle touches you add to your stories, Allan. ‘He glanced meaningfully at Clive’ being just one of them. You describe the siblings so well that we instantly get the measure of them and are able to appreciate so much more the satisfaction we get from the reading of the will. A wonderfully written, enjoyable read.

    Carrie OLeary
    Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
    8 months ago

    A well-written and well-paced story, Allan. I loved how your story concluded; although you were limited by the word count, it was easy to deduce that Kehlani had been far more of a daughter than his own children had ever been sons / daughter if that makes sense

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