This is the thirty-first part of a fiction serial, in 700 words.
Uncle Brian looked suitably ashamed when I told him the news. He had known all along that the house had been left to me, and never said a word. I pushed him about my dad knowing too, and he phoned in sick from work so he could drink himself senseless later.
“Yes, when your gran died, we had a reading of the will, and I was angry that she had left everything to you. Your dad was furious about that too. It was our legacy, Daniel. It should have been shared between us, not left to you. I told him we should make a joint will, leaving both our assets to you when we were gone. But you were only five, and he said we could think about it later”.
It was when I told him he had two days to move out that he opened the bottle of Dewars.
Unknown to him at the time, I had already retrieved his hidden photos and memory sticks from their hiding places. Everything had been stashed away in a large padded envelope I took from work. I had hidden it in the well under the floor of the boot in the Fiesta. On top of where the spare wheel sat. And he had no keys to that car.
Once he started to pack up his stuff, he would have noticed they were gone. But he was too scared of me to ask about them. I told him he could take nothing from the house, except the the clothes and personal possessions he could carry. He had to hire a small van, once he found a bedsit to rent above a cafe in town.
Making sure to be around on the morning he moved out, I stood stone-faced as he loaded his pathetic pile of stuff into it. Last but not least, he crammed his bicycle on top of everything, and left without turning to look at me. He thought he had been punished, and was receiving his just desserts.
But he had no idea. I had only just started to take retribution on him.
Another visit to the solicitor saw me instructing him to sell the house. It needed work of course, but I was prepared to take a fair offer, as long as it was a speedy cash sale and did not require many viewings. I had an idea that a local builder would buy it, then convert the three-bedroom house into two flats. That had happened to quite a few properties in our street over the years.
Meanwhile, I visited a new development close to the old canal. Smart modern flats with canal views. One bedroom, an open plan kitchen/living room, and a balcony. One car park space in the underground car park. I was interested in the Show Flat, and after some rapid negotiation, I bought it as seen, fully equipped with everything. The deposit cleared out my savings, but it was worth it.
Livvy was very excited by my news.
“Oh, that means we will always have somewhere to be together. You are so lucky, Danny. I wish I could move out of home, but I can’t afford it”.
The house sold for cash in four days. A builder, as I suspected. The price was fair, and almost twice the cost of my new small one-bed flat. That meant I could pay cash too, and put a large amount into my savings account, all legal.
There was no point taking all the old crap from Gran’s house, so I hired two skips, and spent a weekend dumping the lot. On moving day, I took two days off work, and only had to move all my clothes, and a bit of personal stuff. I walked away from that house with mixed memories of living there.
Most of them bad ones.
The day after I moved into the canal-side flat, I took the large padded envelope to a post-office on the other side of town. It was addressed to the Chief Constable of the county police. Inside was an anonymous note, with Brian’s name, and the new address of the bedsit above the cafe.
It wasn’t that long before they arrested him.