Sunday March 14th, 2010

The exercise:

I just filed my tax return and thankfully it looks like I'll be getting a nice refund to help pay for the car :)

So today's prompt is: death and taxes.


"I've done everything I could but you still owe a little over two hundred dollars." The accountant swallowed noisily and wiped the sweat from his brow. He tried, for the tenth time in the last hour, to make eye contact with his client but swerved his gaze to the wall over his shoulder at the last second.

"I am not pleased."

The accountant shivered like he was standing in an arctic windstorm. Oh how he hated dealing with this client. The most powerful were always the most demanding. And terrifying.

"I appreciate that, I really do,"  the man said as he tidied his combover, "but in order to get you a refund I'd have to break at least a dozen tax laws!"

"Are you really more petrified of the pathetic pawns that enforce the law than you are of me?"

"Well that's not really the problem here..."

"I will back in one hour," Death said as he rose from his seat like a puff of smoke from a cigar. "By then you will have my taxes in order or you shall face the consequences."

The accountant was found that night by the building's janitor. The note, taped to his lifeless body, simply said:

It was inevitable.


Greg said...

How arduous is filing a tax return in Canada then? I've only had to file one for a few years, mostly because the government were hoping I had more high-interest savings than I did -- they quickly got fed up of the work involved in claiming an extra two pounds (the most they ever charged me).

A perfect last line :) The story builds nicely to it too. Death is well-presented, and you've left open the possibility of Death confronting whoever it was who thought he should pay taxes in the first place. Great work!

Death and taxes

"Being dead is really the only option this tax year."
Sylvestra looked hard at the Accountant of Evil, tapped her fingers on the arm of her chair and sighed. "I'm part of the Council of Nastiness," she said eventually, sounding as though the words were being pulled from her like teeth. "I could pull some strings maybe, and see what opportunities open up."
The Accountant of Evil, a man thin enough to be able to use his own ribcage as a toast-rack and whose mother called him Nigel, pressed his blue lips together until they were a thin line. "Miss Sylvestra, bribing me is the same as bribing the government--"
"De rigeur?"
"Inadvisable when you don't have a strong hand. I am serious; for this tax year we'll declare you dead, and find you a suitable next of kin. You mentioned a Green Lightbulb earlier I think?"
The temperature in the room plummeted and strange, misshapen shadows moved around the room in defiance of the stationary light source.
"Over my dead body!"
"That's rather the point," said Evil Nigel patiently, "unless you fancy finding several million dollars of tax money."

Marc said...

It's actually super easy. I use an online service that costs 15 bucks and then file electronically.

Took me about twenty minutes this year, and it even lets you know how much to expect to get back (or owe, but I've never been in that unfortunate boat).

Glad you liked mine :)

And I'm enjoying this Nigel fellow. His logic seems sound!