Micro Monday: The Tax Dodger

Posted: April 15, 2013 in Micro Monday
Tags: , ,

“And, time,” said a bearded old man holding the syringe that would restore life to the year-dead patient on the table.
The syringe slid easily into her carotid artery, and after another thirty seconds, her eyes flitted open. The old man with the syringe frowned and set down his tool. “It’s taking longer for you to wake up each time, Priya.”
The young, previously dead woman looked around the sterile room, still dazed and black-lipped. Her mouth moved, but her vocal chords seemed still to need warming up before they could work. Her hand went limply to her throat and she began to massage it. The old man took her hand away gently and put it back at her side.
“You know the protocol,” he said and looked at her sternly. “No movement for at least an hour.”
A throat cleared itself on the other side of the table, where a woman in a fitted, pinstripe suit stood holding a leathern briefcase.
“Oh, yes, please forgive me. Priya, this woman standing beside you is Ms. Adele Singh, CPA. I’m sure the two of you have a great deal to talk about.”
Ms. Adele Singh smiled warmly at the supine young woman and brought her suitcase down heavily on the steel table.
“Congratulations, Ms. Kamala. You are the world-record holder for most years spent dead to avoid paying taxes. Thanks to some new tax legislation, you will remain the world-record holder, I believe. I suggest we take some inventory on how much your Douglasing has saved you.”
“I’d much prefer it if you discussed how much it’s cost her,” said the doctor loudly under his breath.
Ms. Adele Singh pretended not to hear him and clicked open her briefcase. “Dr. Needles over there has made no qualms over his objections to the toll being dead has taken on your health. But I assure you, Ms. Kamala, I’m on your side. If someone is going to go to the lengths you have to keep their money, I say they should be able to keep it. To that end, I have prepared a suite of options for you to continue your defiance of the tax collectors,” she removed a thick packet from the open briefcase and extended it to the woman on the table. “Oh,” she said and bit her lip, “well, I supposed I could just read them to you.”
Priya nodded and closed her eyes.
Ms. Adele Singh cleared her throat again and flipped through the pages. “Ah, here we go. The best option for you, I think, might be donating organs. You’re obviously a strong young woman who can undergo the rigors of death. In another six months you could be a prime candidate for growing organs while dead. If you do, the government has promised to forgive all taxable income for such a worthy, life-saving endeavor. You see, Ms. Kamala, we have not been asleep at our jobs while you’ve been dead.”
“I object absolutely, Priya,” said the doctor. “You promised this would be the last time you spent a year dead. I don’t know how much longer I can continue to bring you back. And besides, suppose I was hit by a car or a massive heart attack while you were gone. Would you trust anyone else to bring you back unharmed?”
Ms. Adele Singh sneered and continued, “Financially speaking, this is the best option for Ms. Kamala. It’s by no means the only one, doctor.”
“You’re wrong. It’s not an option at all.”
“Very well,” the accountant said and sighed. “Item number two: Widows and widowers who bequeath their estates to—”
“Ms. Singh!” shouted the doctor.
Priya was beginning to come out of her dazed state and blinked her disbelief.
Ms. Adele Singh’s hand went to her mouth and she gasped. “Oh my! I am terribly sorry. I thought it was an exciting challenge to try to beat the tax laws. It never occurred to me you didn’t know.”
“Ms. Singh, I’m afraid we’ve kept you too long. I’m sure you have somewhere else to be.”
The woman in the pinstripe suite opened her mouth to protest, but stopped. She nodded, replaced it the packet in her suitcase and clicked it shut. She turned and left the room without another word.
The bearded doctor took Priya’s hand and put his other hand against her head. Tears were already beginning to stream down her cheeks.
“This isn’t how I wanted you to know,” he said and squeezed her hand.
After a moment of quiet sobbing, Priya looked over at the table with the syringes and then back at the doctor. He followed her glance, then shook his head.
“Give it some time,” he said. “You can always dodge taxes some other day.”


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