This is the eighteenth part of a fiction serial, in 1120 words.
Beverly came upstairs to have what she called a ‘special conference’ in the confines of Noddy’s room. Between her and Benny, their bags of cash had amounted to well over five thousand pounds. She had counted out some bundles, and marked them with post-it notes. There was two thousand five hundred for the DVD films payment, one thousand for Nan, including a bonus on her initial six hundred. Then five hundred for Benny, described as ‘expenses money’. She sat on Noddy’s bed. Sidling up to Benny, she rested her hand on his leg. “Tell him the rest, Darren”.
Noddy turned on the stool to face them both. “I have ordered the stationery to be delivered tomorrow. A while ago, I changed the delivery location to Linda’s flat, using the address you gave me. You will have to tell her to be in to receive the parcels. You need to arrange a van and driver to take you to collect the films, I have written down some reliable companies. Drop the films at Linda’s, and give her the packet of address labels I have printed out”. There is spare cash for the postal charges, and payment for her time. Make sure she gets a receipt from the Post Office though. And check a random sample of the films. We don’t want them being returned with issues”. Benny interrupted. “They are region-free, Noddy, so should play anywhere in the world”. Noddy ignored him, and continued. “Tomorrow, you and my Mum need to get out and withdraw more money from different places. I have written down where to go, and what to take out. Mum suggests you get a decent haircut, and some smarter clothes. That’s up to you, but it might attract less attention if you look the part”.
Before anyone else could say anything, he sat up straight, and adopted his best serious expression. “I have been doing some estimates. Allowing for a fair drop-off rate, we should be seeing around five thousand a month coming in, and that’s just from membership fees. Also, there will be extras for Aunt Sophie’s and Velma’s private pages and videos. On top of that, I reckon we might pull in around the same for DVD sales, at least until they get fed up of the same faces. We have already got almost fifty grand spread around the accounts, just in a few days. You are going to have to keep up the content, and make sure you have enough fresh stuff every month. It might also be worth scouting for new faces. We might need some fresh talent by the end of this year, and we may have to seriously consider going straight. We should have advertisers interested soon, but we can’t deal with them using Paypal or cash. Besides, why pay commission to money brokers when we could manage it through a bank? That would leave us liable to tax of course, but there are ways around paying too much of that. Then we could legitimately get our hands on the money: pay Mum, Sophie, and your Nan properly, and get a decent amount of advertising revenue, based on clicks out of our site. If we carry on as we are, sooner or later it will become increasingly difficult to manage the cash. My forecast for the first year is something like twelve thousand a month, say one hundred and forty grand, to be on the safe side”.
He hadn’t mentioned taking anything for himself, not even asked for any new tech stuff. Benny whistled. “Wow, Nod, that’s a lot. What about your share, don’t you want anything? After all, you’re the brains behind it”. Noddy asked for nothing.”I just like having a project, Benny. And my Mum will benefit, and get me anything I need. So, she will take whatever she thinks is fair for me, and use it to get me whatever I need. By the way, there’s a new HD video camera coming tomorrow. It takes great video, as well as stills. The battery will last longer, and it has a decent light to attach to it too. I have also ordered some large capacity memory cards. Mum paid for it on her Amazon account, and I told her to take the money for it out of the bag”. He turned away, indicating there would not be anymore questions, or further discussion.
Beverly stood up and took Benny’s hand, winking at him as she spoke. “Darren love, we are both really tired after that early start. We are just going into my room to have a lie down for a while, alright?” He didn’t answer, just raised a hand in acknowledgement.
This time, Benny didn’t feel so tired. As he glanced at Beverly lying on the bed, looking very pleased with herself, he realised he had been rather energized by what they had just done. Perhaps he was getting used to it, discovering a natural skill after all. With less than an hour before Mr Hall got home, he kissed her lightly, then slipped away before she started all over again.
Nan and Sophie were sitting together on the sofa, answering comments from the veritable legion of fans who couldn’t seem to get enough of chatting to the two faded glamour queens. They smiled at him, as he came in. Nan looked up between typing replies. “There’s half a quiche in the fridge if you’re hungry love. Then get your tripod set up. We need to do some solo shots for Sophie’s page, then some more of me. You’d never believe the sort of things they’re asking for; real domestic stuff, normal clothes, doing the housework, peeling spuds and stuff. Most of them just want to see us doing ordinary things, and are happy with a little bending over, or a peek down our blouse”.
Benny handed Nan the cash. “There’s your money, and an extra four hundred, Nan. There will be some more soon, and next week again too. Noddy’s talking about going legit”. Nan turned back to the screen. “Thanks, love. Leave it there. What about Sophie, did you bring her anything? He had forgotten about her. “Tell you what, Nan, give her that four hundred, and I will replace it next week”. Sophie looked pleased, and blew him a kiss”. He didn’t bother with the quiche, and as he set up the tripod, he remembered. “Oh, Noddy’s ordered a new camera, HD like you asked for. It’s coming tomorrow”. Sophie leaned back, and spoke to him as Nan was typing. “Not sure about being legit, Benny love. That takes all the fun out of it”.
Nan kissed her friend on the cheek, and they both started cackling.
To be continued…