Guest Writer Spot

It’s Friday and time for my Guest Writer Spot, which gives writers the opportunity for their  work to be seen and read by others. I accept stories, poems, articles – in fact, anything and everything. All you have to do is make sure your prose is no longer than 2000 words and your poems no more than 40 lines. If you would like some of your writing to be featured on my blog, please contact me here or by e-mail: esthernewton@virginmedia.com

This week,  Donny Marchand is my guest writer. He’s featured a several times before in my Friday slot but if you haven’t come across his work before, here’s a little bit about him, in his own words:

‘I have only started writing for publication a short time ago, and been fortunate to have had some modest success, in the placement of my work.

‘I have had four short stories published in a magazine entitled ‘Dimdima’ whose main office is in Mumbai, India. Two articles  published in a newspaper, ‘UK Column’ who are based in Plymouth,UK, and one short story in a magazine ‘Stories for Children’ out of the U.S.A.’

Here’s his latest entertaining story:

Taxing Times

By

Donny Marchand

Natural wastage was the current tag being bandied about by the banksters to represent, “given the boot”. Sixteen years of loyal service by a staff member meant nothing to these self-centred bigwigs. Arrogantly padding their fat salaries with enormous bonuses they conveniently awarded themselves under the guise of performance related, and they saw no need to justify their gratuitous action. In many cases the money needed for this highway robbery, was acquiesced by laying off the people who actually did the work, thus eliminating the need to pay them. And Salvatore Collecci was one of those unfortunate expendable workers. A person now referred to as natural wastage.

At first Salvatore tried to get his life sorted by doing everything on the straight and narrow. But nothing he tried worked out for him. All the jobs he applied for came to nil, and he felt he was riding on a treadmill leading to a dead-end. He was either too old, unqualified, or just plain unsuitable. The harder he toiled things just got worse. The tragedy that really broke the camel’s back though, was when his wife packed her bags and strolled out the front door. He became so destitute that he started drowning his sorrows in alcohol. Meandering from soup kitchens to gin parlours, and back again, he deteriorated at an alarming pace. Finally, when his house was repossessed he  quickly spiralled down to rock bottom, and came to the conclusion that his only chance at survival was to become a thief. And so he began his journey into the life of crime. 

At first his pilfering was all just petty stuff. But he couldn’t help  becoming addicted to the thrill and danger of escaping without getting caught, and decided to step it up a notch. So he started mugging people late at night in parks, alleyways, and dark, dingy back streets. Then Salvatore graduated to robbing all-night gas stations, and convenience stores at gunpoint. and  finally he made the big jump to holding up banks, so in a way he had come full circle. His infamous notoriety was spreading like wildfire, and because he gave instructions to bank tellers on little paper notes to cough up the dough, his nom de plume had become “The Bank Manager”.

But the bank once again became his nemesis, for on the fourth stick-up he got collared. Sentenced to only five years because it was his first offence, he actually got out in three. Idleness never being one of his faults, he utilized the time behind bars studying accountancy. To call prison study courses unusual was the understatement of the century. The accountancy courses had curious curriculum names such as, Sidestepping Tax Flaws, Soiled Bills Washing, Pension Fund Evaporation, and so on.

While doing his nickel he spent hours on the Internet, finding and cultivating relationships with potential clients for his intended accountancy business when he got out of the clink. He was so successful at it, that his venture was off and running the moment he walked out the gate, a free man.

Shortly after his release Collecci bumped into Jack Grollington, one of the top executives of the bank that had laid him off.

“Salvatore, it’s good to see you my boy. The scuttlebutt on the street says you’re flying high. I always knew you’d do well, said that to everyone constantly.”

“Did you, Mister Grollington?” retorted Collecci, “Then why did the bank give me the push? Corporations usually hang on to their best talent, so why was I dismissed?”

“I fought very hard to keep you, but the board outnumbered me by twelve to two. Being outvoted by such a large margin, I had no choice but to acquiesce.”

 “You said twelve to two, so if one was you, who was my other fan then?”

 “I don’t think it would be proper for me to divulge that information.”

 “Oh come on, Jack, nothing drastic is going to happen, and you know it.”

 “Okay, but promise me you’ll keep it under wraps, for her sake anyway.”

 “Oh, so I had a female admirer then, come on let the cat out of the bag, so I can gloat.”

“Well if you really must know, it was that air-head Dorothy Danderbratch,” Grollington divulged with a sly grin beaming across his face.

“Oh my God, not her!” exclaimed a startled Collecci.

 “I thought you might feel queasy about that,” retorted a cocky Grollington.

 A totally embarrassed Collecci looked nervously at Grollington and pleaded, “Promise me you’ll never tell anyone else about Dopey Dandruff voting for me, please!”

 “Well,” responded Grollington, “There is this one thing I’d like you to consider doing for me.”

“Anything, Jack, just name it.”

 “I understand from some people I know in government, that although your firm indulges in some pretty sharp practices, it is able to avoid any kind of punishments. This protection your company receives, a barricade against the law that allows you to triple the profits of your clients without any penalties being awarded against them. Am I correct so far?”

 “Pretty much so,” answered Salvatore in a confident manner.

 “Then tell  me, Sally, my boy, what kind of schemes could you come up with for my bank?”

 “Well for starters, I could triple your loan profits, with no risks to your bank, or any bad publicity.”

“How would you create that miracle?”

 “No miracle, just an illusion.”

 “Can you be more explicate?” asked Jack.

“Simple, it goes like this. I will set up one of those quick money loaning businesses, you know the ones you always see advertised on T.V. Let’s say we call it Speedy Loot. We get two flunkies to be the directors, mainly as a front. Then I negotiate, and set up a business loan between your bank and Speedy Loot. The directors run the company, take a modest salary out of the company’s profits and agree to be responsible for the company and all its dealings, including its usury. Your only connection to them is as a banker who gave them a business loan, which is a private matter between your bank and Speedy Loot. Each month they make a loan repayment to your bank of sixty per cent of its profits which is written in the loan agreement contract.”

“That’s one idea, anymore you’ll have to pay for,” explained Salvatore.

 “That all sounds very interesting, so I wish to make you an offer to take on the position of chief consultant to the bank.”

 “And the remuneration?”

 “How does half a million a year, plus bonuses sound to you.”

 “Make it seven hundred thousand and we’ve got a deal.”

 “I’ll meet you in the middle, six hundred thousand plus bonuses. I believe that’s a fair offer.”

 “Six, bonuses, and a seat on the board,” proposed Collecci.

 “Well Miss Danderbratch was voted out a week ago, so I guess you can have her empty chair. So, it looks like you’ve got a deal.” Concluded Grollington, as he extended his hand.   

As they shook hands Grollington invited Collecci to a private do being held that evening for the top executives of the bank, in the penthouse of the Marlborough Parkside Hotel.

Collecci accepted the invite. Then as they parted and headed on their separate ways, Grollington yelled back to Collecci, “Oh Salvatore, bring your favourite lady if you want.”

 ***

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