Funny Rich Man

The prompt on Search Engine Stories this week is  funny rich man.

 

Here’s my story…..

 

 

Horatio Hogg was one of the richest men in the world but he tried to hide it. When he was out walking among the general populace he wore threadbare jeans and boots with scuffed toes. He let his hair grow long and didn’t shave. 

Once a little girl remarked to her mother: ‘That man is a hobo.’ It made Horatio’s day to be called that. He felt he could walk through the streets without fear of being recognised. His friend, Martin Minton, saw him one day and looked straight through him, his lip curled into a slight sneer as if he found Horatio’s hobo garb distasteful. Horatio ran down the street in delight, clicking his heels.

Some days he wore his normal attire. His Yves St. Laurent. Some people noticed the expensive cut of his suit but looked quickly away, almost as if they felt unworthy. Horatio felt bad about that, it was after all, just a suit, not the measure of a man.

Sometimes he would follow those people, give them money, usually a couple of grand. They backed away in surprise, clutching the money, worried he would expect them to participate in some sordid act, but he expected nothing in return.

‘It’s a gift,’ he would say. ‘I want you to have it. I want to try and make a difference.’ 

‘Who do you think you are? Robin Hood?’ some people would ask. Horatio would laugh and say: ‘I’m just a rich man.’

‘Funny rich man,’ they would say.

 

 

Trudy Thompson worked in the café. She served forty Full English breakfasts before 9AM every morning and over one hundred cups of coffee. Her fingertips were stained orange from the pulp of 200 glasses of freshly squeezed juice.

There was nothing about Trudy’s current life that resembled her previous life.  She had once owned the café she now worked in but her father had died and her mother had grown ill with grief, so Trudy had sold the business so she had more time to care for her mother. Sometimes it irked her. It was a step down. She had worked so hard to build up the business. Yet she knew she should be grateful for the job. Not everyone would be as flexible with the hours as Sandra, her new boss, was. And the lump sum of money from the sale allowed her to employ a part-time carer for her mother.

Sometimes Trudy stayed up for the entire night as her mother groaned and wept. The dark seemed endless. She grew so used to shadow that the colours of the morning seemed electric. Sometimes it took all her strength just to keep breathing. 

A man had been coming into the café. There was something captivating about him but Trudy suspected he might be homeless. When Sandra wasn’t looking she slipped him extra slices of toast and refilled his coffee for free. He always paid with a handful of coins. Trudy usually cut a few dollars off the bill, making up the difference from the tip jar.

‘I know what you’ve been doing,’ the man said one day. ‘The extra food, the discount. Your kindness is appreciated. I’d like to thank you by taking you out to dinner.’

Trudy was taken aback but she agreed. The man, his name was Horatio, had soft, tender eyes and a voice that made her feel there was more to life than she had realised.

He picked her up at eight wearing a fancy suit. Trudy didn’t know much about fashion but it looked Italian. ‘You scrub up well,’ she commented, laughing to hide the fact she found Horatio really attractive. ‘I have my moments,’ Horatio replied.

He took her to a place that turned out to be his home. A mansion on the waterfront. Trudy was embarrassed that she had assumed he was homeless. She hated people who judged others by their appearance. Horatio laughed the whole thing off. ‘It was intentional,’ he said. ‘I wanted you to like me for me. I didn’t want you to like me for my money.’

 

 

For the first time in his life Horatio Hogg was happy. For years he had lived without hope, his options had seemed limited. Now that Trudy was in his life he felt a sense of outstretched possibilities. The day glimmered with breezy thoughts. One day he couldn’t wait any longer. He asked Trudy to be his wife, the waitress he had met in a café, the girl he loved best of all. His mother would be horrified but he didn’t care. Love was love wherever you found it.

Trudy agreed to marry him, she filled his heart with a sweeping brilliance.

‘This is the happiest day of my life, ‘Horatio said. ‘The world stands before me. Lush, full of joy.’

‘Funny rich man,’ Trudy said.

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19 thoughts on “Funny Rich Man

  1. I love your search engine stories. 🙂 So glad to see you doing these! There are a few I intend to come back and use myself at a later date for “Odds and Ends”.

    Until summer ends I have a feeling my writing is going to have to be really lowered for awhile. I just can’t keep up! 😛 Ahhh.. the pressures of my mind! 😀 This week it’s Redbeard’s family coming into town. Thankfully, it looks like this is the last visit of the season. Thank heavens! I love family, but when they choose to spread it out over a month (two this weekend, four for a week… etc.) it’s exhausting.

    Anyway, wanted to pop over and see what you were up to! 🙂

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  2. Oh Selma, you have really nailed it! 🙂

    This is an absolutely wonderful, feel-good story. I felt swept along by each line and I was so hoping that Horatio and Trudy would both find the happiness they truly deserved.

    Well done friend, again! Hugs, G

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  3. I suspect that Horatio Hogg and Trudy Thompson go on to live happily ever after in the fabulous fairytale that you’ve written. Great work. Much enjoyed. Thanks. David

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  4. LISSA – they probably never happen, let’s face it. But it’s nice to imagine that someone with lots of money can make a difference to the lives of people who don’t. If only…..

    TEXASBLU – so nice to hear from you. You sound so busy – but very happy. I imagine you must have a very positive family experience going on there. I am really glad for you. Looking forward to you joining in when you have the time!

    GERALDINE – aww, thank you. I’m going to go and read that story right now. A feel good story is always nice, isn’t it?

    DAVID – I hope they ride off into the sunset together. I know it was a bit of a sentimental tale but sometimes I like a bit of schmaltz. Just cheers you up, you know?

    LINDA – I hope they have lots of kids and call them Pip, Phoebe, Georgiana and Anastasia. Or something like that. LOL.

    KAREN – a bit of a silly tale, really. But thank you!

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  5. “Sweeping Brilliance”…I love that! And I love your story, Selma. You have such a talent for engaging the reader from the get-go. I really liked where you took the prompt. …and a happy ending, no less. I’ll have peaceful dreams tonight! 🙂

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  6. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!! What a wonderfully cheerful story! It suits the lovely bright sunshine streaming in through my window.

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  7. KATE – oh, I’m glad you stopped by too. It is always a treat to hear from you. The true measure of a person is definitely not how much cash they have. I know that for sure. So glad you liked my silly little story.

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  8. EPIPHANY – if I can in any way contribute to the peaceful dreams of another I am truly happy. I like happy endings too. Not everything needs to be ‘doom and gloom’, right?

    DAOINE – sorry for the out of sequence thing going on here. Call it premature senility. LOL. I’m glad you’ve got sunshine cause I’ve got a storm brewing. It’s 2.40PM and the sky is black. There’s lots of rumbling and rolling. Spectacular stuff!

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  9. Says a lot for our world, doesn’t it, when, in reality, if someone came up to me in the street, and gave me a couple of grand, I’d probably suspect money laundering or counterfeiting, and call the cops!

    But, there are many stories, right back to Greek mythology, of gods/wizards/rich men pretending to be beggars, and dealing with people according to how they treated them.

    Not that I’m knocking it, of course; they say all stories are based on only ten basic plots, and this is a refreshingly observant take on one of them.

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  10. TRAVELRAT – oh, I completely agree with you on that one. I think most stories are based on a rehash of several basic themes. It’s hard to think outside those parameters. Unless you want to begin deconstructing fiction and of course, that always ends in tears. Usually the reader’s. LOL.

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  11. Some wonderful bits of writing in there Selma, for example these lines:
    “She grew so used to shadow that the colours of the morning seemed electric. Sometimes it took all her strength just to keep breathing.”

    I also like your choice of names, a cheeky jab at the reader that says- “okay this might not be true but let’s all have hope”.

    Lovely story and I for one hold in my heart the undying hope that such things happen on a regular basis maybe if only in an alternate universe.

    (Off topic kind of- am I doing something wrong? I can’t put my link at Search Engine Fiction or does it take some time?)

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  12. “Love was love wherever you found it.” So true!

    Selma, you remind me of my scriptwriter friends (ex-roommates, really) from my days in L.A. They’re unbelievably good and regularly pitched in their stories to film makers. I hate to see your stories not make an even bigger difference than they already do now.

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  13. LAURI – I was being a little cheeky there, I must admit. Thank you for your lovely feedback. Re. posting your link – it should appear straight away. What you need to do is click on the title of your post. This will give you the URL of the post (it starts with http://). Highlight that, then copy it, then paste it in the body of your comment. And Bob’s your Uncle and Fanny’s your Aunt. I’m going to come over right now and do it for you because I don’t want anyone to miss out on one of your fabulous stories. Here I come…..

    CHRIS – WOW. What a compliment. It is my dream to write screenplays. I am an amateur film maker at heart. I am always fooling around with my camera. You have made my day by saying that. Thank you. XXX

    PAISLEY – I agree. Why can’t fairy tales come true? It would certainly be a better world if they did.

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