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Transfer of Power (standard:mystery, 902 words)
Author: Andrew DaytonAdded: Nov 29 2012Views/Reads: 2471/1354Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
An old man makes an explosive request of his niece. Submitted as a writing contest entry. Opening paragraph was given and the rest takes off from there.

Transfer of Power 

He'd had a lifelong weakness for football, golf,and younger women but
none of that mattered anymore.  The vultures were just outside, already 
fighting over the best morsels. He hadn't moved or spoken in weeks but, 
as she reached over to touch the thin vein slowly pulsating in his 
hand, his eyes flashed open and he said... 


“I'm right here Uncle John” Angeline said softly. 

His rheumy eyes cleared a bit and his eyes crinkled.  “You've been here
quite a while, haven't you?"  He asked.  " I'm afraid I won't be 
enjoying your company much longer.” 

She frowned but he seemed not to notice.  He lowered his voice, “Are
they still outside?” 

Angie grimaced.  “Yes.  Do you want them to leave?” 

“No” He offered a wry smile “Let them pick through everything and take
what they want now.  It's easier than having a garage sale after I'm 

Angie touched his hand again.  “C'mon Uncle John, you're tougher than
most people half your age.” 

“Honey, I'm 93 years old and I know my time is close.  But listen, while
I'm awake I want to go over things with you once more.” 

Angeline nodded and leaned forward attentively. 

Although not her real uncle, she loved him no less than if he were.  He
had paid for her to go to school and now paid her salary as his live-in 
nurse.  It was a mark of his generosity that he did all this and it was 
an indication of his trust in her.  She'd known his secret for the last 
ten years and had told nobody.  His inner circle was small and he 
worked to keep it that way. 

He began speaking to her and as he did his voice strengthened.  The
voice of the orator he'd been reached no further than the walls of the 
room, but was distinctive with its nasal twang and the care with which 
each word was selected. 

He paused and smiled at her.  She noticed for the hundredth time how
even years of plastic surgery couldn't strip his face of its familiar 
charm every time he smiled. 

“ They tried to kill me, but money can buy information,  a good double
and a lot of privacy” He said  “I do regret he took a bullet for me but 
I hope I've balanced the ledger a bit with the good I've tried to do.” 

Indeed, she thought.  The irrigation projects in Sudan, the schools in
South Africa, Laos, and Peru, the anonymous university scholarships 
within the United States.  These were only some of his projects that 
had benefited thousands if not millions. 

“When I was young I had the best of everything.  Now that I'm old, I
hope I've given everything my best.” 

“Sir,” She began, but he shushed her with his hand.  “Angie, in my
wallet is a card for a certain bank in downtown Quincy.  You know 

She did.  She had grown up in Boston after all. 

“The numbers on it are for a safe deposit box.  There is a key on my
ring that matches that box.  Inside is all the paperwork you need to 
make sure the projects keep going.  Your name is on many of these 
papers, including my will.”  He shifted and his face went taut with 
pain.  Angie moved to help but he waved her back. 

“There is also a document bearing the signature of Judge Wilson Cowen.
It is of the utmost importance that a copy of this document be 

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