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Rated: E · Fiction · Mystery · #2277706
What is in Tommy's yellow case? Will it be $1 or the deed to his uncle's mansion?
Tommy and Lisa Hatton sat quietly with their mother as the rest of the family and friends gathered to read their Uncle Bill's will. There was an awkward quiet in the room as their uncle did not have an immediate heir. Everyone wondered who he had willed his vast wealth to. Everyone who had been named in the will had been called together by the lawyer and executor of his estate.

Clearing his throat as the last of the people called together had taken their seat, the lawyer began to speak.

"Hello! I am Mike Strouss and have called you all here today to read Bill Grey's final will and testament. I am sure as most of you know that he had no direct heir. He had made it clear that he wanted his final wishes to be read out loud in front of everyone who is here today. Here is the letter that he wanted me to read to you before I read the will."

Dear Family and Frieds,

Upon my parting of this world, I know there will be many of you wondering who I will leave my estate to, and I have given this much thought and consideration. I don't want there to be a lot of fighting and arguing among all of you, so I have requested that Mr. Strouss carry out my final wishes. Please, do not question him regarding this matter. He is following my wishes as I have instructed him to do so.

Each of you have been given a key. This key will unlock a room inside the mansion. Inside each locked room, there will be a yellow case. If you can unlock that case, everything inside the case will be yours. These keys have been handed out randomly. I did not choose one over the other as every one of you have played an important role in my life.

You all know how much I have loved a good challenge, So I present to each one of you your own challenge. One by one you will be allowed to find the room your key will unlock. You will be given plenty of time to find and open your room's case. Each case will contain various inheritances, anywhere from one dollar to the deed to my mansion and wealth. Good luck and may the best man or woman win! Have fun and enjoy your inheritance.

Best Regards,

Bill Grey

Then Mr. Strouss read the legal documents and determined the order in which everyone would get their turn. One by one, everyone was led to the room their key opened. Tommy and Lisa's mother went into her room first. Inside her case was $50. It was Lisa's turn next. She was not able to open her case, so she got nothing. Then it was Tommy's turn.

Tommy walked nervously down the narrow hallway to his specified room. He stopped in front of the door and took a deep breath. The lock felt a little rusty. He could tell the lock was old. The door opened with a clank and creaked on the hinges as it opened. Stepping into the room, he could smell an old musty smell like something you would notice in a room that had not been used in a while. It was an old bedroom with a layer of dust on everything. There were a lot of cobwebs in various locations around the room. Whatever was in here had been placed in here several years before. He methodically moved from one piece of furniture to another.

There were a few boxes stacked in the corner. The chest of drawers was ornate with nothing in the drawers. The bed was made and in good condition other than being covered in dust and cobwebs. There were a couple of small boxes under the edge. Off to the side, there was an old wardrobe. It was not locked and opened without an issue. at the bottom lay the yellow case which was very well preserved.

Tommy lifted the case out of the wardrobe and placed it on the bed. He wiped the dust away from the case and examined it carefully. He had to figure out how to open it to find out what was inside. There was a combination lock on the case. He figured out that if he could guess the combination, he could get into the yellow case. He tried several times to guess the combination, without much success, based upon what he knew about his uncle. He was out of ideas and stepped over to the window to look outside and think.

As he peered out the window watching the wind blowing the leaves in the trees and the birds fluttering around the courtyard, he remembered a fishing trip he had taken with his uncle a couple of years ago where his uncle had told him a story.

Tommy began going through everything in the room. He must have spent two hours doing this. It had looked like a thief had rummaged through everything by the time he was done. He was beginning to give up hope of figuring out the combination. Then he saw it! It was in plain view all along. The clock on the wall had stopped running. It was stopped at 10:12 and the second hand pointed at the 3. He remembered his uncle telling him about a young woman that he had fallen in love with, and she had married another man. His uncle never met another woman to take her place. Her birthday was 12/10/03. Tommy put those numbers into the combination on the case. With shaking and sweaty hands, he pressed the release button and the yellow case popped right open.

Inside the case, was a note on top of an envelope. Congratulations! You have inherited it all. There was the deed to everything in the envelope. He knew he would never have to work this hard ever again in his life.


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