Welcome to SeniorVu’s daily ‘flash fiction’, with the continuing saga of Mary Lu at the Vu. Mary Lu is a 78-year old fictitious resident of a fictitious senior living community called Hickory Hills View (a.k.a. The Vu). Every night, while her husband Bobby (he’s fictitious too) sleeps next to her, she sends her sister Carolyn (yup, fictitious) an entertaining email updating her on the day. These are her stories. We hope they become as addictive as your morning cup of coffee.
Disclaimer: Even though these stories may sound familiar to your community, the story, all names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this series are fictitious. No identification with actual persons (living or deceased), places, buildings, and products is intended or should be inferred.
I heard the cry of anguish from my living room.
And Harriett poured her heart out to me after dinner.
“My grandson, Elliott, is in a heap of trouble,” she said, fighting tears.
That didn’t seem like the Elliott I had heard about, an exceptional young man who was a pre-law student at the University of Virginia.
“He got caught trying to sneak across the border into North Korea,” Harriett explained.
She got a call from her grandson’s attorney this afternoon. Elliott was trying to get humanitarian aid to the North Koreans when he was captured just across the border. Elliott would spend months in a brutal prison camp unless he could post bail quickly.
That’s when my Spidey senses started tingling.
“Let me guess,” I said. “He asked you to send money right away.”
“They needed five thousand dollars,” Harriett explained. “Almost all the cash I had in my squirrel box.”
(That’s money Harriett has kept squirreled away for a rainy day — or when the banks all fail.)
“Please tell me you didn’t send it,” I begged.
“I can’t let him rot in prison,” she said. “I got the rest of the cash from an ATM – and then wired the money from that payday loan place by the Walmart.”
“Oh, honey,” I said. “You were scammed.”
She didn’t believe me. I had to explain that older folks like us get targeted this way all the time. And if her grandson really was in prison in North Korea, it would be an international incident.
“You-know-who would have tweeted about it,” I said.
I finally convinced her to text Elliott. He texted back to say he hadn’t left his apartment all weekend.
Harriett was humiliated. She begged me not to tell anyone. And I won’t tell anyone – other than you – but I might give The Vu’s managers a heads-up that scammers have been calling.
I’d hate for anyone else to fall victim to these jerks.
P.S. To catch up on all of my previous Mary Lu at The Vu posts, click here to go back to Day 1.