It was a particularly normal morning. Birds were chirping, children were skipping school, and Doris Lester (75. Hobbies: knitting, baking, and casual racism) sat in front of her television with a cup of Earl Grey, conducting her morning ritual of opening the post and watching her favourite morning news program. The content of which was about what you’d expect: petrol prices were too high, youths were unruly, politicians were corrupt, but doing anything about said corruption was impossible; homelessness was becoming a problem but doing anything about it was pointless and irresponsible. All the world’s problems and affairs condensed into an easy to digest capsule of biased upper-class manure.
Doris of course religiously absorbed said manure; each morning she would sit in her old and frayed armchair, nodding along as the sweaty, bald presenter ranted about “Biased universities” or “Floods of immigrants”. This morning the sweaty man was speaking to a member of the local council about the poor condition of the bridge that spanned the river in the centre of town. Doris, however, was distracted by a letter that she had just opened.
“Dear Mrs Lester,
We regret to inform you that due to a revision in your husband’s will, we are unable to release the funds held in escrow. We have enclosed a copy of the amended will for your convenience.
Accounts team, Boyd Banking Group.”
Doris pulled the will from the envelope and skimmed it. It was much shorter than the original version. A few phrases stood out to her, and she began to mutter as she went along. “Charitable donation… All funds… Assist the poor…” Doris did a double-take. “Assist the poor?!” As she battled with such a horrible notion, she noticed that a photo was also included in the letter. It was a picture of an old man, clearly on his deathbed. He looked emaciated, pale, and was wired into all sorts of medical machinery. Despite this, what can only be described as a shit-eating grin was visible on his old face. He was also proudly presenting his middle finger to the camera. On the back of the photo was a handwritten message.
Doris was shocked. Ever since the death of her useless husband Graham, she’d been waiting for the lawyers and bankers to release the inheritance money. It seemed that the old bastard had decided to give her one final arse-kicking from beyond the grave.
The two had been blessed with a terrifically unhappy marriage, and Doris had been looking forward to becoming a widow for at least the last 10 years. When Graham had finally popped his clogs six months ago, she had done a victory lap around the garden on her mobility scooter. But now it seemed that her victory was to be short-lived. Graham had been working with his horrid friend who owned the town bank, Mr Boyd. He and Graham had been two peas in a pod, concocting this conspiracy to give her money to a bunch of low lives. It was an outrage, all they were going to spend it on was that dreadful bridge, she was going to put a stop to this.
Doris headed down the road on her mobility scooter; determination burning in her eyes, national flag waving proudly from atop the scooter, champagne pink cardigan donned like battle armour. She had tucked Graham’s old service revolver into her handbag, Doris usually enjoyed the fantasy of waving it at the homeless of the town whenever they had bothered her for change, however, today she had an entirely different purpose in mind. As she puttered along the high street, she saw the main bridge to her left; it spanned the river that divided the lower and upper-class areas of town. Doris hated that bridge, she wished that it would collapse so that those undesirables from across the river couldn’t infect her slice of suburbia. The fact that Graham had wanted to use her money to fund the repairs to that monstrosity was the gravest of insults.
Doris arrived outside the bank, she peered through the glass doors and saw Mr Boyd himself strutting around inside, shaking hands with his wealthy clients, and grinning like a shark as he spoke to the queue of people lining up for service. The door swished open as Doris entered, and Mr Boyd came sauntering over.
“Ahh Mrs Lester, how are you doing? My deepest sympathies for your loss.”
His voice was a silky rasp. He sounded like, well, he sounded like a bank manager. Doris scoffed.
“Boyd, you villain, you and my cretin of a dead husband cooked this up, didn’t you?”
She waved Graham’s will in Boyd’s general direction. A wide smile split across Boyd’s face.
“Surely you must be glad that the less fortunate of the town are getting their bridge fixed? And if our bank so happens to get a small tax break for facilitating a charitable act, then we wouldn’t complain now, would we?”
He grinned again, a truly ghastly sight.
“Please leave a customer review on your way out.”
Boyd turned his back on her. Doris calmly reached into her purse and pulled the revolver free. With a single motion, she aimed and shot Boyd in the leg.
“There’s your customer review! You detestable slug!”
She left Boyd screaming on the floor and rolled over to the quivering young teller in an oversized suit. She threw him a plastic bag and said with a sneer,
“Fill it, Ferris Bueller.”
She waved the gun in his general direction; once he was done stuffing the bag with notes, he handed it back and Doris took off, whizzing past Boyd, who was bleeding and screaming on the floor. She cackled loudly and fired the gun wildly into the air as she left the building.
Doris zoomed along the street, heading back the way she came. But she stopped dead in her tracks as two police officers bolted around the corner, yelling and blowing their whistles. She took a sharp turn, there was only one way out of here – across the bridge. That bloody damn bridge. She went full pelt along the riverbank and stopped just before the rusty old structure. It creaked under her weight, old joints complaining and groaning. Doris hesitated until she saw more police arriving behind her and heard them getting closer. She put the mobility scooter into the highest gear and floored it. She was going fast, the bridge protested loudly again, old beams cracking, bolts popping off, she was nearly there…
Across the river, the police officers exclaimed as the bridge collapsed into the river with a tremendously loud crash. It seemed to happen in slow motion, but they watched the old woman topple in after the structure, as the stolen money fluttered in the air.