The Capitalist by Robert Vaughan

“Greed is good,” Kennith Andrews said. He finished shaving, and he smiled at the image in the marbled mirror. He liked this week’s mantra, downloaded from and taped on his moisturizer bottle.

He stretched his neck, had he slept well? Sleep. His nemesis. He could sleep on planes, as he had yesterday from Thailand to Oahu. His laptop powered on: seventy unread e-mails, double spam. Too many and not enough time. Never enough. He took a bite of his bagel. Sighed.

His iPhone rang. Wells-Fargo Bank. Open this early? He answered.

“Mr. Andrews?” A woman’s voice.

“Yes, what can I do for you?” He disliked business calls, they might trace his location. Could misuse the information somehow.

“Mrs. Shelton from Wells-Fargo. I’m sorry to inform you, there’s been some recent alarming activity with your savings account. Are you aware of this?”

“Alarming how?” Kennith walked to the blinds, peered out. Sickening sunlight. A neighbor speed-walked her dachshund.

“Sir, our records show that during the past twenty-four hours, your account was drained.”

“Dr-drained?” He couldn’t swallow.

“Yes, sir. The original balance of 478,000 dollars is now 2.78.” Complete silence on the other end.

“But, that’s impossible. I’ve been home this entire time. And no one but me has access. No one.”

“The activity was mostly between 2 and 4 a.m.”

“How? I was asleep.” Or was he? He traced his steps into his bedroom, as if surveying the wrought iron bed, or crumpled white comforter would give him clues, anything.



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Filed under Robert Vaughan

21 responses to “The Capitalist by Robert Vaughan

  1. guy

    Ha. Of course, with only 478,000, he’s not much of a capitalist. Betcha the bank did it!

  2. randalhoule

    2.78 – nice detail.

  3. I like the “man of the world” image torn down into a human being. Nicely done, Robert.

  4. A nightmare! The poor man (pun intended). It makes me think about the lines between greed (his mantra) and crime (by whom?). A many layered story, cleverly done.

  5. Theo

    You have set so many options forth in such a short time, with great details, Robert. Why would this happen to someone. Hmm…pondering.

  6. Cynthia

    I side with Guy here…I bet the bank drained it. Or was it some imposter? Or was it just Kennith’s imagination. So many options, a writers dream.

  7. Jules France

    Nice details in this story. Great job!

  8. Kim Hutchinson made me smile, and I loved all the detail in this piece. I also liked that the character was more than a little paranoid, not to mention surprised at his vulnerability. I’d love to see more of this story.

  9. great dialouge. felt like “momento.”

  10. Wallace

    Is there another chapter? More? I sure hope so.

  11. Loved the mantra from taped to his moisturizer bottle. That says so much about this guy- a whole character sketch in just one sentence.

  12. Kelly

    that was wickedly funny. all the nice little details to mark social location (and capacity for insight), all this hyper-carefully constructed identity suddenly shipwrecked on the rocks of the unknown.

  13. Thanks everyone for all of your generous comments! I have a second chapter that is wackier than this already written, and there is more to come on this guy.

  14. Maude Larke

    SPOOKY! I think he’s awake now.

  15. Michael

    I like how cavalier and smug you paint his attitude at the beginning of this. Though we don’t see a full unraveling, I (and this is revealing about me) enjoyed the massive wake-up call informing him that he had lost all his captital. A great read.

  16. stephen

    a satisfying devolution.
    well played.

  17. Alexandra Pereira

    What more could I say?…Loved, “He liked this week’s mantra, downloaded from and taped on his moisturizer bottle”, and the mystery and vulnerability involved… Nice to know it ended in “to be continued…” :-)

  18. 2.78,, speed-walking dachshund – among the greats. The tone – tongue in cheek – is very effective here. Cool one, Robert!

  19. Wicked funny! Love the paranoia, all the funky details. Peace…

  20. Pingback: Week #40 – The money’s gone | 52|250 A Year of Flash

  21. Pingback: March Madness « One Writer's Life

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