Thursday 19 November 2020

The Loan

by Henry Lewi

Laphroaig ten year old Single Malt

 He was 6 months in arrears on his mortgage, massively overdrawn at the bank and had mounting gambling debts.  He dared not stay away from the office, where he monitored the money transfers between the clients, dealers and the firm, in case his office staff accessed his computer.  He’d been siphoning money from the firm’s accounts for the last few months to try and stem his personal financial  haemorrhage.  Now it was announced that in the next 48 hours the firm was bringing in external auditors to look for “financial irregularities.”


 He knew his life was unravelling in an uncontrollable manner.

He drove through the night picking up the A12 the other side of the Blackwall tunnel and headed north to Suffolk. During the drive he tried to calculate his total debt, which included how much he’d have to repay the firm if he didn't want to be on the opposite side of a jury in the near future.  As the Mercedes purred northward, he figured that he needed ten million pounds to be comfortable but at a pinch he’d take seven and a half, and he hoped that the man he was travelling to see would help.  He knew that once he was committed there was no wiggle room for negotiation or leaving the clutches of the MAN.  

He crossed the Orwell keeping to the speed limit and entered East Anglia proper, turning off the A12 just north of Woodbridge.  The houses were few and far between, mainly Georgian Farmhouses or Victorian rectories, and as he neared his destination he slowed to a stop, and parking on the unlit roadside he lit up his second cigarette of the day, opened the windows and thought.  

 The man he was about to meet was, how would he put it, rich, loaded, well off; well he had a lot of money, the result of drug and people smuggling, money laundering and arms dealing. He wasn’t an easy man to deal with, dangerous to cross and never, ever, fail in your obligation if you’ve made a deal with him. He knew he was getting into bed with the Devil, but what could he do? He really had no alternative, but he had a proposal that he knew the MAN could not, would not overlook.  He threw the finished cigarette out of the window and drove the remaining mile or so to his final destination and turning in he patiently waited for the electric gates to open and drove up the gravel drive to park in front of the large Georgian country house.  He knew his entry was being monitored but still he was met by a youngish man, (armed he presumed), who silently led him through the large oak front door and opened the double doors to a large sitting room. He approached the distinguished looking silver haired man sitting in front of the fire, who, looking up said, “Hello son, good to see you.”

 He replied, “Hello Dad, I’m back and I need your help.”


Suggested drink .... Laphroaig 10 year old Single Malt

About the author 

Henry is a retired surgeon and member of the Canvey Writers Group.
He has published a number of stories on the CafeLit site.  

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