posted on Dec, 27 2008 @ 11:56 AM
Investment advice for the Paranoid
Zoe lived in ‘interesting times’. Civilization, the social order and services were breaking down where-ever you looked. Interest rates were
falling and the banks couldn’t be trusted with your money anyway.
Being independent and self-supporting, Zoe worried even more than most other people about the state of affairs. Her job wasn’t guaranteed and her
pension wasn’t guaranteed. How to safe-guard her future?
Gold and diamonds were the answer. Something that you couldn’t argue with. Something to sell on a rainy day. Zoe hoped the rainy day would come
when the rates were good.
She bought a huge diamond with all the cash she could spare. She was assured that diamonds never depreciated. As long as there was some-one around
with cash to invest, or a mistress to impress, a diamond was a very worthwhile commodity. No trouble selling that at a profit, particularly one as
beautiful as Zoe had just purchased. She smiled to herself - well someone had probably made a good profit out of her. She hoped when the time came
to sell, she could find an eager buyer too.
Zoe put her diamond in a safety deposit box and started to save hard for her little hoard of gold. She was still saving when civilization took
another turn for the worse, and either criminals were finding security firms easier to rob, or the security firms could no longer be trusted.
Either way, Zoe’s diamond was now in hands which she considered unsafe. She had to find a way to keep her prized asset secure. Well, if you wanted
something done properly, may as well do it yourself. She went off to her safety deposit box and looked long and hard at the diamond. It winked back
at her. Under the harsh lights it looked even more beautiful as the light gleamed off its many facets. Zoe studied it hard until she almost cried.
She felt possessive and almost maternal as she popped it into her mouth and swallowed it.
With severe expectations of indigestion, Zoe went to the clerk and cancelled her safety deposit box. Then she made the long journey home.
Upon arriving, she took all her clothes off and stepped into the shower. She looked down at her navel where, shining prettily, was a gold bar. This
lay across her belly button and was slightly arched. She’d had it inserted a few weeks ago, and now she would be able to remove it and replace it
as easily as an ear-ring. She grinned and washed her back. Nothing to do now but wait for nature to take its course.
Which it did - quite painfully. Zoe started to have misgivings about being so rich and wished she could only have afforded a much smaller diamond.
Still, she thought philosophically, rather haemorrhoids than an old age spent sheltering in a shop doorway.
When the diamond had been cleaned up it looked as good as new and no-one looking at it could have guessed its most recent whereabouts. Zoe sighed
contentedly and removed her gold bar. Carefully, and with exquisite attention to getting it dead centre, she place the diamond in her navel. Then
she slotted the gold bar into place. And there it all was - Zoe’s fortune stashed away where only she could find it, and guard it, and enjoy it.
Never had she felt so secure and happy. Even if anyone did see the jewel they would never guess that it was anything more than an inexpensive
trinket. Zoe savoured her good fortune. The diamond fitted her beautifully. She forgot her previous bad humour, and was glad that she had been able
to afford the very diamond that would slot into her body so easily.
Years went by, and Zoe scraped through. She hadn’t had to cash in her diamond, but she was starting to worry about its security again. It had
spent so long caged in her navel it was almost part of her. But Zoe was becoming more aware of her own mortality. The gem would outlive her of
course. And, statistically speaking, it was getting more and more likely that ‘something’ should happen to her. Supposing she didn’t live to
see her old age? Supposing she had an accident? Zoe didn’t trust the attendants down at the morgue, the thought haunted her, waking and
What if she was wheeled in there, dead and unable to protect herself or her diamond? One of those thieving gits would have it, she was sure. They
wouldn’t even realize its true value, they’d just take it because it was easy to take.
By this time Zoe had acquired two little nieces. Their inheritance was her main concern, after securing her own, comfortable old age. She frightened
herself at night with stories of her impending accident and the theft of her diamond. She started to sit up late, going over the problem again and
again in her mind. She had many weird and wonderful interests and read many books, always seeking to guarantee her diamond’s safe-keeping.
She rejected the idea of most spells and curses. No good some-one having a run of bad luck after the dastardly deed had been perpetrated. Zoe wanted
that diamond handed over to her nieces. When she did eventually hit upon the answer it was so simple it astounded her. She was delighted to find the
solution to her problem and set about implementing it.
Zoe had never realized what a truly accurate little prophet she was until one day she stepped off a kerb and a juggernaut careered into her. Feeling
vindicated for all her painstaking guardianship of her fortune, she died happy.
Her body was taken to the morgue where, just as she had guessed, a couple of right rogues were employed to take care of accident victims. They
discussed which of Zoe’s few bits and pieces could be ‘lost due to accident’ as they stripped her body. Zoe didn’t have much in the way of
normal jewellery, and these two ghouls had resigned themselves to rather slim pickings until they found her diamond. Zoe had been pretty severely
damaged by the juggernaut, and even if her relatives knew about this intimate little adornment, they reasoned, it could hardly be expected to survive
the impact of such a large vehicle, could it?
Outside in the waiting-room Zoe’s two nieces sat quietly. They had liked their Aunt, and always felt privileged that she had willed her fortune to
them. And she had always impressed upon them how vitally important it was that should she meet with an accident they must get to her absolutely as
soon as possible. If she was sick in hospital, one of them must always be at her side. If they wanted their inheritance it was imperative they get to
her quickly. This they had done, and now they sat ashen faced and waited.
Not for long either. They both started as they heard the blood-curdling shriek echoing all over the morgue. They smirked as they saw the two
stricken attendants fleeing down the halls and out into the night. ‘Looks like they found Aunt Zoe’s little pet’ said the eldest. ‘Better go
and fetch it’ replied the youngest.
Of all the security systems Zoe had read about, the one she liked best was the idea of keeping a poisonous snake in the glass case to guard the
treasure. Zoe couldn’t keep a snake, however small, and especially not poisonous, in her belly button. But she’d got the next best thing. It
had started off rather small scale, but Zoe had gambled on having a good amount of time left when she started her project.
The first maggot to lodge behind the diamond had been rather ordinary and had eventually turned into a fly. Zoe had kept it and bred it. Several
generations of human-flesh-fed maggots later and she got what she wanted. A truly horrendous little beast that had burrowed into the inner reaches of
her navel. There it fed off her flesh and secretions. Sometimes, especially in hot weather, the diamond chafed her, so her maggot was well fed.
She had finally managed to breed a strain with a well extended life-span. And she had a little box of ‘reserves’ just in case she should lose
one. And all of them ready to evolve and breed and evolve again. Chosen for their longevity and ugliness.
By the time Zoe met with her accident she had the mother of all maggots squirming away behind her diamond. Ugly, fetid and mean. With a taste for
live human flesh. And very clearly defined little teeth. And bigger than the average maggot. Nasty enough to scare even a hardened morgue
attendant. Which it had done when it snapped at the fingers of the hand removing Zoe’s diamond.
The two nieces approached the slab as the maggot burrowed back into Zoe’s navel. They looked at each other. ‘We may as well forget this one, but
I’m damned if I’m leaving the others alive when we get home’ said the eldest. ‘There’s Aunt Zoe’s diamond on the floor’ said the
They sadly kissed Zoe goodbye, picked up the diamond and headed off into the sunset.
Zoe’s maggot couldn’t believe its luck when it eventually wormed its way out of Zoe. She had been left on the slab for quite some time due to
the disappearance of ‘her’ attendants. No longer constricted by the diamond the maggot wandered off. It fell off the slab onto the rather dirty
floor and made its way over to the dark corner at the back of the room. It snuggled down in the debris having gorged on Zoe and no longer very
hungry. Then it set about the process of turning into Super Fly. Just the thing the end of civilization-as-we-know-it needed.
Zoe’s nieces had destroyed its siblings, but Super Fly set off and mated with a vengeance. Very easy to do in the filthy morgue. As the dead were
wheeled in day after day in ever greater numbers, so Zoe’s bequest to the human race flourished and multiplied.
And her bequest to her nieces dwindled and was gone. And the nieces spent their old age camping in shop doorways - plagued by flies.