Final Jeopardy

I Barnibus Hannibel Hoffmeyer being of sound mind and body do hereby declare this to be my will, revoking any previous wills. My marital status is single leaving behind no current spouses.  My three children are grown and they include Barnibus Hannibel Hoffmeyer the second, Barbara Hannah Hoffmeyer, and Blake Henry Hoffmeyer. I bequeath to my children the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars. I leave each child a total of fifty dollars.  

Barnibus started writing his will and he knew that he was glad he wouldn't be around to face the hostility. His children Barney, Barbara and Blake would be very disappointed in their inheritance considering that he was worth millions. His desire to disinherit them was based on their relationship. Barney lived in Texas and had a wife and children that Barnibus had only met once. Barbara was residing in Florida with her boyfriend and Blake was a piece of work on his own.  

"Mr. Hoffmeyer would you like to continue", his lawyer Bob Trenton asked. "Oh yes, said Barnibus, "lets get to it”. Mr. Trenton took out a pen and asked if he had items he specifically wanted to go to individuals. Barnibus told him he would like his couch to go to his niece Tracy, he noticed on Facebook that hers looked ragged. He told his lawyer that he wanted his Big Screen TV to go to his friend Charlie Roberts from high school. Barnibus listed his beds, his furniture, his vehicles and even the curtains on the windows to specific people he wanted things to go.  

Mr. Trenton continued to write down all of Mr. Hoffmeyer's assets from his clothes and shoes to his old lawnmower. He seemed to have everyone picked out what he wanted to leave them whether they liked it or not. Bob Trenton was glad he required a size-able retainer because Barnibus will was going to be time consuming.

Barnibus Hoffmeyer was a complicated man with family and in business.  He was rigid in his beliefs with his children and his marriages. Barnibus had been married three times and with every wife they gave him an heir. His first wife, Sybil was a girl he met in high school before he had any money. They married for love which he could not prove with his next two. Catherine, his second was ten years younger than him and his third Savannah was twenty. He luckily did prenuptial agreements with them after his first wife almost took him to the cleaners. Sybil just couldn't understand that a man was not meant to be monogamist; he had needs. 

The other two marriages were easier since there was no real love involved. One lasted two years while the other for approximately six months. The children were born and he secured his visitation. Barnibus was not going to pay extremely high child support without exercising his parental rights. Barney spent every other weekend with him as well as Blake. Barbara didn't come as often.

Trenton asked Barnibus if he would like to take a lunch break and if they could reconvene at one o'clock. He agreed because he wanted to go home anyway and make sure he hadn't missed any of his inventory. Barnibus had brought to the lawyer’s office an extremely long list of names of people he wanted to bequeath items to. Mr. Trenton was not sure that he even knew all the people or at least very well. Barnibus had told him there were people he grew up with, went to high school with, workmates, nieces and nephews as well as his own children. He even decided to leave his ex-wives a few trinkets.  

After lunch when they returned to Bob's office, he asked Barnibus point blank who all of these people were. Barnibus said they were his Facebook and Instagram friends. Trenton was a little shocked that he was putting people that he barely knew in his will before his own children but knew as long as Barnibus was of sound mind there was nothing he could legally do. They continued to list the items, some worth money others insignificant. Barnibus told Bob a story and a reason he left every item. Trenton was starting to get tired of hearing about it but realized he was working for him. He decided it was best to keep his opinions to himself.

After eight hours of listing assets they both agreed to call it a night. There would be more time to add to the list in the morning. Bob asked Barnibus what he intended to do with his home and his bank accounts. Barnibus told him he would prepare a letter and it was to be opened at his funeral.  

Both men said goodnight and went their separate ways. The next morning early Barnibus was at Bob Trenton's office. He told him that he had worked on the letter all night and had it ready. Bob started to open it and Barnibus stopped him. He said the letter needs to remain sealed until the day of his funeral. Trenton was taken aback again wondering what the old man was up to. He had cut his children practically out and was still leaving stupid insignificant items to people who probably would never show up to even claim them. Bob agreed to Barnibus conditions and the two finished up his will. 

Several Months Later;

Barnibus Hannibel Hoffmeyer went to sleep in his king size bed for the last time on the night of October 19. He was 74 years old and died of a cardiac arrest. Barnibus worked long hours in his retail business to make his millions so he never got much exercise. His heart paid the price for the neglect. 

As soon as Bob Trenton, Barnibus's lawyer was delivered the news, he put Barnibus's plan into place. Along with the letter that was sealed, he had also written his own obituary.

Barnibus Hannibel Hoffmeyer, son of the late Margaret and Charles Hoffmeyer passed away peacefully in his sleep, (that part was a little eerie when he knew how he would die). He leaves to mourn his son, Barnibus Hannibel Hoffmeyer the second and his wife and children, Barbara Hannah Hoffmeyer and her latest boyfriend, and Blake Henry Hoffmeyer and any friends he may have made at the men's correctional center, along with countless nieces and nephews. He requests the presence of all of his family members including his ex-wives as well as anyone who is named in the will. The funeral will be three days from the date of death starting at two p.m., please RSVP at Bob Trenton Attorney at Law. To receive your share of the inheritance, attendance is mandatory.  

Bob Trenton sent it to the newspaper shaking his head, he told his wife he had never met anyone like Barnibus. Making everyone attend your funeral for portions of the inheritance was definitely a power move. Bob knew he was in for even more surprises.

Funeral Day;

Barney, Barbara and Blake sat on the front row mourning their father to all the observers. The truth was none of them could stand him. He never showed them any love or support and their mothers were given a only small amount of child support. The millions their father had was never shared with any of them. They spent time at his home every other weekend except Barbara and were taken care of by a nanny named Hazel. She loved them and they truly mourned her passing five years earlier.  

Bob Trenton took the podium and read the eulogy which was also supplied by Barnibus. He talked about his accomplishments in the business world and how he came up hard and started with nothing. The crowd was yawning at that point and wanted the lawyer to get on with the ceremony so they could find out what they got.

Barnibus's lawyer read off to the attendees the items that Mr. Hoffmeyer had left them and some people started to leave realizing that it was a big joke what he had left them. He saved the children's inheritance for last realizing they had the most to lose. Trenton read to the children the fifty dollars that he left them and they just laughed realizing the old man was making sure he treated them in death like he did in life.  

Bob Trenton realizing his children weren't fazed by their father’s cold heart told the people that continued to attend that he had one more letter that he himself hadn't read. The funeral home patrons sat back down waiting for the conclusion realizing that Barnibus's millions had not been divided out yet.  

Bob slowly opened the letter and started reading it, he had to stop reading it aloud realizing he wasn't quite understanding when in walked Alex Tribec. The whole crowd froze and Bob Trenton handed Alex the letter. Alex stated who he was and that he had been hired by Barnibus to orchestrate the remainder of his will. He asked everyone if they knew what the game (Final Jeopardy) entailed. The crowd was star struck and shook their heads in agreement. Alex told them he would like to call the first three contestants. Sybil Jackson, Catherine Tanner, and Savannah Haverty. The three ex-wives came to the front wondering what embarrassment Barnibus had in store for them. Alex had all three women to take their seats and gave them each a buzzer. He told them that they must answer according to the rules of jeopardy.

Alex started the game. He called out the questions and had the women competing on who had the most knowledge of their ex-husband. During the bonus round Sybil won for she was the only one who truly loved him. The next contestants called to the floor were Barnibus niece Tracy who Alex read had borrowed several hundred dollars from him and never returned to pay it. He also called Max, his nephew, and Pam his sister. They all were asked a series of questions concerning Barnibus birthday, his favorite food and what presents he had given them throughout their lifetime. The nieces and nephews failed miserably and were eliminated. Alex continued to call names off the list that Barnibus had provided with some questions pretty easy and others much harder. The elimination of people who knew nothing about Barnibus or his life was getting larger. Finally after the funeral home was beginning to empty out Barnibus's children were called to compete in the game show. Barney, Barbara and Blake took the stage as Alex fired off questions, one by one. He asked them names of relatives of Barnibus's that were long deceased. He asked what the family name crest entailed. Alex asked the children his birthday, what they had gotten their father for father's day, what he had gotten them for birthdays. Alex continued the game until the last question was answered.  

Barbara the middle child got the most answers right and was declared the winner in (Final Jeopardy). Alex Tribec said his goodbyes and handed the letter back to Bob Trenton, Barnibus's attorney. Trenton said according to the will, due to Barbara getting the most percentage of questions right that the house, the money in stocks and bonds and his bank accounts would go to her.  

Barbara was quiet for a moment why she contemplated the news. She took a breath and she stood up in front of the entire funeral procession that had remained. She told them that all she ever wanted from her father was his love and no matter what she did she could never attain it. Barney shook his head in agreement, along with Blake, Sybil, Charlene and Savannah. Barbara told Bob Trenton that her new inheritance she wanted divided six ways for the family that he could of had if he had only wanted it.

September 03, 2020 03:36

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06:24 Sep 10, 2020

Very interesting. Well written. For ctitique circle.


Cheryl Fulks
17:41 Sep 10, 2020

Thank you I appreciate your comment. 😁


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Jason Parker
01:57 Sep 10, 2020

Love the fact that you open with the will. Barnibus Hannibel Hoffmeyer is an excellent name! A clever piece of writing that hooked me from the start. It reads beautifully as a short story and I can also see it expanded into a stage-play. Great work, Cheryl. : )


Cheryl Fulks
17:41 Sep 10, 2020

Thank I’m glad you liked and appreciate your comment😁


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