Welcome back, Arrowheads! This week on Flash Fiction Friday, we’ve got a short story I wrote for a creative writing class a couple of years ago. “Fedora Boy” is a modern retelling of Robin Hood from Prince John’s point-of-view, and I chose this subject because of my love for Disney’s Robin Hood adaption from the 70s. So, here we go!
With my feet perched high on the mahogany desk in front of me, I admire the view of the city streets from my CEO office. Block after block of businesses stretch out as far as the eye can see, and my heart swoons with pride, knowing that I, John Lackland, will soon own every inch of land within the city limits. Nottingham once was a small, classless speck of a town before I moved here at the turn of the century with a Masters in Finance and a hidden agenda. The day Lackland Bank opened its doors to the citizens of Nottingham, the townsfolk were relieved that they would no longer have to store their cash under their mattresses. Before my arrival, the nearest bank was fifty miles away. However, no one would have ever suspected the banking fees, or the elevated interest rates, or the foreclosures. Grinning, I eye my new Porsche in the parking lot, knowing I would have never been able to afford it without the help of my faithful patrons.
It wasn’t a difficult task to lure the citizens of Nottingham in to my scheme. Nottingham is a small town, and as everyone knows, a lethal trait of a small town is that the townsfolk are willing to trust anyone. So, I offered each gullible Sally Mae and Bobby Jim in town a “once in a lifetime deal”, along with a bright-eyed, white-toothed smile, and they all signed on without question. Idiots.
As I’m about to leave my office, I glance out the window one final time, when I notice an odd fellow leaving the attorney’s office across the street. He seems to be a younger man, possibly fresh out of college. What strikes my interest is that while he’s wearing a sensible gray suit, normal for a job interview of that type, a forest green Fedora is perched on his head of intentionally messy red hair. I shake my head, mourning the future of the business world, and the high-fashion it will cease to flaunt once hipsters like Fedora boy take over. Maybe the attorneys will consider the boy’s atrocious appearance and refuse to hire him, but I can only hope; the attorneys and I have never been on the best of terms.
The following Monday, as I’m pulling into the bank parking lot with a fresh cup of Starbucks coffee, I notice Fedora boy heading back into the attorney’s office with a briefcase. I guess those imbeciles couldn’t read my silent warning. Disgusted with society, I take a quick swig of my coffee, scorching my tongue in the process.
Though this morning has taken a somewhat foul start, when I enter the office, my secretary informs me that the bank has successfully foreclosed another lot in Nottingham. Of course, I will allow the former owners to continue using the land. I mean, I attend the church, from time to time. Not in the last seven years, but still. “Keep up the good work, Drake!” I encourage, patting my secretary on the back.
Drake Jacobs handles most of the dirty work involved in the foreclosure process, and he seems to enjoy it. His dark, beady eyes seem to offer their own malicious grin as he shakes my hand and replies, “Thank you, sir!”
Once I settle into my leather office chair, I fire up the iMac and check my email. It seems that Pastor Tuck of Nottingham Baptist Church is unhappy about the foreclosure. Into the Trash folder it goes! I almost feel guilty for a moment, but the feeling passes once I notice that the next email is addressed from one of the attorneys.
The email reads:
Greetings, Mr. Lackland,
It has come to our attention that Pastor Tuck of Nottingham Baptist Church has noticed quite a few instances of suspicious information the last time he reviewed the church’s bank statement with the church’s treasurer. Though we have evidence that the church has been making payments on its loan, your records show no sign of those payments for the last six months. Pastor Tuck informed us that Lackland Bank has proceeded to foreclose the church, on terms that the church will continue to function on the lot if they rent the lot from your bank. Giving you the benefit of the doubt, Mr. Lackland, we are sure that this may be a misunderstanding between Lackland Bank and the Nottingham Baptist Church. Please notify us when you receive this email, and schedule a time to meet with us to discuss any discrepancies you may have with the church’s billing history.
Sherwood Forrest, Attorney at Law
“What discrepancies?” I ponder aloud to myself, clicking on the Trash icon again. “I haven’t noticed any discrepancies in my bank account. Besides, the church won’t have a leg to stand on compared to the official bank records. What’s a check decorated with a cross compared to one of Lackland Bank’s statements?”
Apparently, the Man Upstairs noticed those “minor discrepancies”, because here I am, a month later, sitting in court. The Honorable Judge Richard, perched like a regal lion at the stand, does not seem to appreciate the fact that I had trashed the emails. I am being sued for the entire amount of the church’s worth, with Fedora boy working as Pastor Tuck’s lawyer. I have been told that this is the boy’s first case as an attorney, and I’m praying that he will not succeed on the first attempt. However, Fedora boy has a sly, yet generous look to him, and I’m probably the last person God wants to perform a miracle for right now.
Pastor Tuck takes the stand, making his case about the church’s monthly payments. I zone out, praying again that I won’t see that Porsche vanish as quickly as it appeared in my life. The lawyer introduces himself as Robyn Hode, and he’s just as humble and ruthless as I expected. Never mind the eccentricity of the Fedora; this kid’s outsmarted me at my own game. Stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, though I don’t think that Porsche will make for a very kid-friendly church vehicle.
Thanks for reading, and be sure to check back with us on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for more posts! Also, be sure to check out my debut novel, Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl, on Amazon!
©Allyson Kennedy, 2017. All rights reserved.