Short Story Fiction
A Snake in the Grass

He was a thief playing the long game. Her relatives didn’t have a clue… until it was too late.

(a snake in the grass) older woman imageAndrea Piacquadio / Pexels

Her name was Daisy. She was an older woman who lived alone. Her husband had died years earlier. She handled living on her own quite well for many years but as she grew older her decision making process began to diminish. She was to the point in her life where she needed help. Her relatives who should have been there for her couldn’t be bothered. They ignored her right when she needed them the most.

Where Daisy’s relatives fell short, a young man named Charles stepped in.

He had met Daisy through a mutual acquaintance. When he found out she was alone, he took it upon himself to befriend her. He began to visit her once a week. They spent the afternoon together talking and sipping coffee. Daisy grew to love her afternoons with Charles. He was so charming and knowledgeable about world affairs. They seemed to have a lot in common.

In her younger days, Daisy was interested in the stock market. She had built up a large portfolio worth close to 750 thousand dollars. None of her relatives were aware of her net worth and she didn’t volunteer to tell them. Charles was an investor himself. Their conversations about money and the market were always enjoyable. Over time, Charles learned of Daisy’s net worth and the vehicles she used to store her wealth. He knew it all.

The weekly visits went on for three years. Some of the family started to grow concerned about Charles. They talked among themselves about how close he had gotten to Daisy. Some even speculated he might be trying to get at her money. But they weren’t concerned enough to do anything about it. If they were right, they figured Daisy didn’t have much to steal. Plus, as long as Charles was checking in on her, they didn’t have to.

During their time together, Daisy had given Charles much more of her personal information than she realized. When legal matters came up or bills needed to be payed, Charles was right there to give her a hand. Daisy really appreciated the help. Over time, she grew to have complete trust in him.

The day came when Daisy ended up in the hospital. When her relatives heard, they came to visit. When it looked like she might not make it, the relatives started to ask questions about her will. That’s when they found out that Daisy had made Charles the executor of her estate. He had the say in both her health and legal matters.

The family was furious. They accused him to his face of exploiting her. Charles assured them that wasn’t the case. He only wanted what was best for Daisy and since no relative had come forward to help, he took it upon himself to take on the responsibility.

Charles was a smooth talker and he managed to calm down the relatives who were making the biggest fuss.

Daisy never left the hospital. She passed away in her sleep. Charles notified the relatives and let them know they needed to make arrangements for her burial. They were sorry to hear the news and glad Charles had informed them, but what they really wanted to know was what Daisy had left them in her will.

A meeting was set up for the coming weekend. They would all meet with Charles at Daisy’s house to discuss the will. That weekend several family members showed up, but Charles never did. He was nowhere to be found.

Not knowing anything about daisy’s finances, it took the family some time to sort things out. What they discovered was extremely disappointing. Daisy’s net worth was close to one million dollars. Her bank accounts had been drained and all of her financial assets had been sold off.

The relatives were left with nothing.

Charles had disappeared with everything. He had moved west and quickly befriended a nice older woman named Beth.

© Copyright 2023 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.

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