THE ADVOCATE 525
VOL. 80 PART 4 JULY 2022
BATTLE OF WILLS*
By Heather Konrad Hill
Sabina looked at the clock on her reception phone, 11 minutes
until her coffee break. Tuesdays always dragged—so long until the
weekend. The phone rang.
“Smith, Smith, Smith and Smith, how may I direct your call?”
Sabina twisted the cord of her headset. “One moment, I’ll try that line.”
The elevator chimed and two women walked towards Sabina and the
office of, apparently, all the lawyers named Smith. The older of the two
women walked slowly, slightly hunched over. She was neatly clothed in a
navy dress, pearls and sensible shoes. The younger of the pair, a middleaged
woman dressed in a dark grey power suit and high heels, sped ahead
of her companion.
“Tell Mr. Smith the Groves are here.” Power suit drummed her manicured
nails on the reception desk.
She must be kidding. “Which Mr. Smith are you here to see?”
“William S. or William J.?”
“How the hell would I know my lawyer’s middle initial?”
If only she had a nickel for every time she had this conversation.
“Are you here for a will or a real estate matter?”
“And who may I say is here?”
“Louise Groves.” She rolled her eyes and turned around. “Aunt Mary, sit
Sabina dialed the extension. “Mary Groves and guest are here for their
appointment.” Passive aggression was literally the only fun she had in this
“Aunt Mary, remember what we talked about. The house should stay in
the family. And Darren, well, he isn’t really family. And … ”
“Would either of you like coffee?”
“No,” Louise hissed and turned back to her aunt.
“Tea? Would you like tea?”
* This story came second in the Advocate 2021 Short Fiction Competition.