A Vast Fortune

A Vast Fortune

A Story by No_One_Special

A tale of greed.


A Vast Fortune

Once upon a time, there was a very kind man who had five children. The eldest was a boy named Robert, the second was a girl named Luna who had the most beautiful long silver hair, the third was the boy Fredrick and the fourth was a sweet little girl with golden curls named Celeste. The fifth and youngest child was a cunning lad named Charles, who would always come to suppers late and find any excuse to avoid the housework.

The man’s wife had died many years ago, and now he found himself on death’s door, struggling with a terrible illness. However, he was comforted by the knowledge that his children were all old enough to care for themselves, as even the youngest, Charles, was nearing the age of adulthood. 

Because he loved all five of them dearly in fact, he knew he could not leave this world without leaving a little something with each of them to remember him by. So, one day he called all five children to his bedside, and there informed them that they could each make one request of him. He even went on to guarantee that all five wishes would be fulfilled, and so be their inheritance from him. 

The oldest, Robert, who loved his father dearly said, “Father, my wish is for you and the rest of our family to be blessed with perfect health, that none of us would ever take ill again, and that my heart would never be heavy with worry about your condition.”

His father smiled and said, “Yes my son, I will grant this wish of yours.”

Luna then sat at her father’s side and said, “My wish is that my siblings and I will never have to wear black mourner’s clothes. I wish for you to live, so we may all be dressed in triumphant white for your victory over this illness.”

“I will grant your wish, my child, as my parting gift to you,” said her father. 

When Fredrick's turn came he told his father, “I wish for all of us to be together forever as a family.”

“It shall be so, my son.”

Celeste moved forward and took her father’s withered hand, saying, “My wish, father, is that mother would be returned to us, so that all of us truly would be together.”

“Yes, my dear, I will see that your wish is fulfilled.”

Finally, it was Charles’ turn to approach his father. His siblings were very nervous when they saw him take their father’s hand, because he had always been the greediest and the most malicious. They tried their best to love him and treat him as a brother, but he didn’t seem to want any part of it. He liked to be left to his own pleasures, to enjoy the things of the world.

His brothers and sisters were worried he would ask their father for something awful, and feared he would take advantage of the dying man. However, they knew that he had an equal right as a son to ask for what it was that he wanted, and to receive it. So, the other children sadly held their tongues as their youngest brother declared his wish.

“Father,” said Charles, “My wish is that the entire family fortune will be left solely to me, to enjoy for always and eternity, and that my siblings will not get a single share.”

His father looked sadly up at him, and gently putting his wrinkled old hand over the hand of Charles’ said, “My son, if that is your wish, it shall be done.”

Charles simply laughed at his father and his siblings, mocking their stupidity, but rejoicing in his own fate, and then strolled off with a bar wench from the town on his arm. 

Very soon the old man truly did die, and his will was discovered. He had broken his promise to his eldest son by succumbing to his sickness. He had broken his promise to Luna, for the children were forced to wear black clothes of mourning. He had broken his promise to Fredrick, because he was not their with them any more, and he had broken his promise to Celeste because their mother had not come to join them. 

Unfortunately, he had kept his promise to Charles, who had been granted the whole of the family’s fortune and estate. His siblings were devastated, as Charles squandered all of the money on fine food, and clothes, and w****s, not giving his siblings a cent. 

Those four older siblings though, remained very close, all living close together, even after their own marriages and own children were born. They all spent holidays together and were kind and comforting to each other, all while rumors and news of their brother doing this and doing that would float around. 

They could not understand how their father could be so blind, and why he betrayed them, but they tried their utmost to continue thinking highly of the man who had raised them. Although, Charles took a completely different view of things. Whenever he would enjoy a good drink or lay down on a fine silk bed he would laugh at the fates of his elder siblings, and their ignorance in not asking for the family’s fortunes before he did. Throughout his life he was very content and satisfied.

But after many years, the siblings themselves started to die. In a very short span of time, all five had succumbed to age and passed on. When Robert realized where he was after his death, he saw that all the physical infirmities he once had were healed. When Luna passed, she saw her clothing was a beautiful pearly white, and also the clothes of all those around her. When Fredrick died he was instantly reunited with the spirits of those relatives of his who had passed on before him, and when Celeste died, she found that even her mother was here in this new home! And so, the great man, his wife, and the four siblings were all there, free of illness, dressed in white, and happily all together, just as the four children had once wished. The promises truly had been fulfilled, and so would this happiness continue for eternity. 

But, when Charles died, things were dark and there was nowhere to move around. He became very frightened when he realized that he could not see anything. Had he truly even died? Where was this place? It was cruel and cold, as he groped around to try and feel his way out. He felt like he was drowning, slipping and sliding down further. Where were his girlfriends? Where were all of his clothes and his many houses? For the first time in a while, he suddenly wondered what had become of his family. Where were the others who had died before him? A thousand questions screamed in his mind as he clawed around frantically. 

Suddenly, as his hand reached out, he grabbed onto something and he realized that he was now holding a golden coin. Even in death, he was buried and drowning in the family fortune. Truly it was his to bear for always and eternity- only it would never do him any good again. 

© 2011 No_One_Special

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Author's Note

It seems that no matter what century you're from, children will fight over their parent's wealth- but maybe there's something they aren't taking into account? ..... #19/50 of the No One Special Fairy Tales. Copyright No One Special 2011.

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Added on December 12, 2011
Last Updated on December 12, 2011



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