Your Uncle’s Will

After living for years paycheck to paycheck, a windfall of money comes your way from a distant uncle. But in order to receive the money, you must complete a mission from your uncle’s will. What’s the mission and did you do it?

Post your response (500 words or less) in the comments below.

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4 thoughts on “Your Uncle’s Will

  1. Bianchi Cat

    I couldn’t believe the words that came out of the lawyer’s mouth as he read the last Will and Testament of Uncle Ray. “I’m sorry Mr. Jones, but could you read that last part again?” I asked.
    “Certainly Jack.” Mr. Jones, the Estate Lawyer for my uncle, replied.
    “’I hereby give 80 percent of my wealth and my 1962 Corvette to my only nephew Jack.’” Mr. Jones looked at me, “Jack, that 80 percent amounts to the total of $26, 985, 875 and 69 cents, before taxes and other fees of course.”
    I was stunned, bewildered and having some shortness of breath all at once. The next thing I saw was the ceiling. Apparently, according to the lawyer and my wife, I had fainted. As I was coming awake, Mr. Jones was to my left and my wife was to my right. “Jack. Jack.” Both of them were saying. “What?” I asked. “I’m here, what happened?”
    “You fainted.” My wife said.
    “Jack, I didn’t finish with the Will. There’s a condition to you receiving the money that your uncle included in the Will.” The lawyer said. “You have to fulfill an agreement to the Will in order to receive the money. The car, however, is yours no matter what.” He hesitated, “that is, if you want it?”
    “What?” I asked perplexed.
    “Well, the car is a piece of junk. Your uncle, though you probably don’t remember ever meeting him, watched you your entire life. He did this from a distance, never wanting to interfere. When he discovered how much the two of you were alike, he took a keen interest in you. Whether it is your personality, your interests or even movies you like. You both are identical, except of course, that he was 32 years older than you. Before his death he realized you have not reached your full potential and so, in order for you to get there he believed, he has provided an incentive.”
    I was getting mad and could feel my face turning red. “This is a bribe, is what it is.” I said harshly.
    “Call it what you want.” The lawyer said. “But it’s up to you if you want the money? And in case you’re interested, the car needs a lot of work.”
    “So what’s the agreement?” I asked.
    “Ok.” He said and then began reading from the will. “’Jack, in order for you to receive the money, you have to change. They say that people don’t change. They don’t change their habits. People simply don’t change. That is unless there is sufficient motivation. You, nephew, have almost 27 million reasons to change.” The document went on to discuss the terms of what “needed to be changed” according to my uncle. Essentially, if I changed bad habits; if I was to change or erase so many demons in my life and become the man I always knew was inside me…
    I was given a five year deadline. I did it in two.

  2. mariathemum

    Ok so I may be a few words over 500….but do you really count? Please tell me you don’t count…
    Uncle Michael who would leave behind millions and though he is not a distant Uncle, that is to say he married into the family and only lives 50 miles away, he is the uncle who would in fact challenge you to complete some crazy off the wall task to earn the money

    And yes, for him, I would do anything.

    Uncle Michael was married to my mother’s sister and after the divorce, he is still Uncle Michael and she is she-who-shall-not-be-named. They did not divorce until I was in my 20’s and when we were kids, we would go off to Uncle Michael’s house for weeks at a time during the summer.

    He worked at night and she worked during the day so he was the one who took care of us, she just yelled at us a lot.

    Uncle Michael let us build forts in the living room using every single sheet, blanket, afghan and towel in the house….and then took the brunt of the Aunt’s wrath

    He taught us to dive and made up crazy games for the pool like jumping off the diving board landing in the inner tube (on your bum without tipping it over) while trying to catch a ball being thrown at you from the opposite end of the pool. He also filled the hot tub with dish soap and let us play in the bubbles.

    Uncle Michael bought a hot dog steamer because he got tired of making us sandwiches for lunch….we ate hot dogs all day long all summer long

    He told us about the ghost, Grace Peasley, who lived in his house and put a clock under one of the beds and told us it was her heart beating….we believed him

    Uncle Michael was nicknamed Uncle Buck. One of us kids did not want breakfast, he convinced her to eat at least one pancake, she agreed. So Uncle Michael found the largest frying pan in the house and made her one pancake….Uncle Buck style!

    He let us play in the coal bin and when his new Playboy magazine came in the mail, he let us find the bunny on the front cover.

    Uncle Michael’s house was called Camp I Don’t Wanna Go Home; he had tee shirts made up for us.

    He introduced us to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, F Troop, Hogan’s Heroes and Hill Street Blues, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. To this day, when I watch any of those, I think of Uncle Michael.

    Uncle Michael is the uncle who, three years ago, sent all sevens of us kids a package with instructions to not open it until a certain date at a certain time….and amazingly, we all obliged!

    He taught me to drive in his pick-up truck and did not yell at me when I failed my driving test which she made me take in her car that I had never driven before.

    Uncle Michael was at Parent’s Weekend my Freshmen Year in college, both my graduations, my wedding and one of the first people I called when I found out I was pregnant.

    He is the uncle who was always taking photographs and years later, presented my mother with boxes and boxes of photos of us as kids

    Uncle Michael is the uncle, who though not so distant, loved us kids so much, and still does, would leave us millions, and any one of us would do anything for it…not because we want the money, but because Uncle Michael is asking us to.

    The mission: I think he’d build some fantastical set somewhere, adorn it with pictures from our lives and send us on some crazy scavenger hunt with all the answers being found in the photographs. We would have to solve riddles and rhymes and then find the picture that corresponds with it…or find a anmed object in a photo. And he would do this to he could remind us how much we mean to him and so we would never forget how much he means to us.

    Or, he’d make us find the bunnies on the covers of a stack of old Playboys….

  3. skdunning

    The Last Postcard
    Shelton Keys Dunning

    “Tara, I’ve some bad news about Uncle Jim,” Momma announced gently.

    I knew what was coming next. My heart was going to break.

    There was no need for her to say anything additional, but she continued, her voice cracking like fine porcelain, “He died, two weeks ago. He was trying to save a family from a burning building…”

    Momma had said that Grandfather believed Jim was the only son-in-law worthy of the title until Aunt Jolene and Cousin Grace perished in an apartment fire. Momma had watched it happen on the news channel. Jim had to hear about it from his commanding officer while they were in Grenada. Momma said that he was never right after that. He slipped into a bottle before I was born and then after my third birthday, he simply disappeared. I was the family he spoke to after that.

    He’d send me a random postcard, or he called when I was the only one home. I remembered the last conversation we had, about my dreams to attend an old world university, but there was no way we could ever afford the opportunity. We lived in Wilcox Springs, population 530, jobs 14. My uncle Jim may have been running from the pain of his past and this forsaken town, but it might’ve been the best thing he ever did after he crawled out of the bottle.

    My grandfather died unfairly angry with him. Jim had become his greatest disappointment. His wife, his three-year old daughter, both gone in one horrible night? How does one deal with such an immeasurable loss? A war-torn soldier like Jim might never find closure. “Fire claimed him?” I asked Momma hoarsely after the silence grew too much for me to bear. “I think somehow he would’ve wanted that.”

    “He’s left this for you,” she said, pulling a postcard out of the legal-looking envelope.

    Too stunned to cry, I inspected the postcard, recognizing his terse script. Remember, Tara. I turned the postcard around to view the peaceful grounds of Trinity College. “This is enough,” I said sincerely.

    “Honey, that’s not all,” Momma whispered, catching my gaze as she offered me the documents in her hand.

    I took the communication delicately. The black words on white background played games with my vision momentarily. “To Tara,” I read aloud, shaking, “who reminds me of all that Grace would have been, I give all I would have given her had she survived me, to be held in trust with a small monthly stipend, and the remaining in full upon successful completion of a degree from Trinity College, or other higher learning facility of your choosing.”

    “That sneaky drunken fool made a fortune and he’s left it all to you,” Momma said without venom, tears dancing happily in her eyes.

    I clutched his last postcard to my heart and refused to let go.


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