“There it is again. Regular as clockwork. 8.45am on the dot. In it pops to the bank account. Just before the news” said Austin glancing from the computer screen to the clock on the mantlepiece.
“Well we know the drill” replied his brother Ford.
“Ah jaysus I’m getting fed up with this nonsense. Let them take it back. They’ll get bored and pick some other poor sod” sighed Austin.
“No we promised himself we’d not stop” said Ford pointing upwards.
“He made us promise. That was blackmail, sure. He found out about you claiming benefits, even when we had millions! You got us into this, Austin.”
“Whatever else I’m a man of my word, Ford, a promise is a promise. Especially to himself” said Ford again looking upwards.
A noise of someone moving upstairs was heard.
“Oh there he is. He’ll be down in five minutes wanting to know the score” Ford said.
“I’ll check the news on the internet” said Austin producing an iphone from his top pocket. He squints at it through his bifocals as his brother waited expectantly.
“Well there’s another one come in nicely” said Austin reading the news on the phone.
“What? Which one?”
A big one. Your man’s resigned right on the button.”
“Not your man?”
Austin nodded. “Aye. The very one. The pope’s resigned and we are ….let’s see.” He consulted a bank of computer screens behind him. His large farmer’s hand traced a line down a flickering screen and stopped. “£216M the better for it” he confirmed quietly. “Less 10% of course” and he gestured upstairs.
“That’s one of the best yet. £86,400 on the nose. The pope’s nose!” declared Ford clapping his big hands together. “What were the odds on that one?”
“2500 to 1” confirmed Austin matter of factly.
“They’ll not spot anything, will they? Its very big.” Ford worried.
“No. Sure its laid off round the world through the hedge fund. The CIA couldn’t crack this little baby according to your man upstairs” said Austin stroking the screen in front of him.
There was a bank of three large identical computer screens arranged in the brothers’ small front room. They contained all kinds of financial information. The data on the screens constantly changed, flickered and flashed giving the room the appearance of a high tech command centre.
“Its not human, Austin. He’s not human” whispered Ford , again pointing upwards. “How did he know Jimmy Savile was a paedophile? Or that they would find Shergar buried in wee Mrs O’Neill’s herb garden? How does he know these things?”
“He’s the seventh son of a seventh son. That’s how”
“He’s that alright. He let slip to me that” at this point Ford’s voice lowered to another whisper as he looked upwards and leaned close into Austin, “his Ma had three breasts. He thought that was normal!”
“Maybe it is if you have seven big sons” smiled Austin.
“And then what about that dog of his? That dog understands tv. Have you seen him watching the News at Ten? Every night. Then he goes upstairs to your man always at the end of it. As if to report. I swear I’ve heard them talking together up there. That dog can talk, I’m telling you & I’m going to catch him at it,” declared Ford.
“Leave the dog alone, Ford. You’ve never liked dogs. Ever since old John’s wee dog chased you all the way home from the town with the tears tripping you. You swore the dog was laughing at you.”
“Houl your wheest!” Ford hissed at his brother.
“Look he’s the golden goose. That money started to come into our account the day after he arrived and its come in every day since. Only two of his tips haven’t come in: polar bears appearing in Ireland and spacemen landing. Thank the Lord! If those bets come in we’ll crash the financial markets for sure. ALL the rest have come in at huge odds. Sure fire winners every time at 100s, 1000s to one. We couldn’t have set up the hedge fund without him. We’re stinking rich, Ford. We’ve more money than Warren Buffet & that Microsoft fella put together and nobody knows we have it!”
The radio news could be heard from the old wireless in the corner. Ford grabbed his brother’s arm. “Wait a minute that’s the nine o’clock news. He’s always down for the news at nine and his breakfast. He’s never missed since he’s been with us.”
The two brothers paused and listened. There was silence.
“Do you think he’s alright?” asked Austin.
There was the sound of the front door opening and closing. The two brothers looked at each other.
“He’s never used the front door” said Ford alarmed. He ran to the window and looked out onto their front lawn.
“Oh my God, Austin. There’s something weird on our front lawn.”
In hushed tones Austin gulped and whispered, “Never mind that there’s a polar bear looking in the kitchen window.”
The numbers on the computer screens all went to zero.