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Timely Fraud

“Hi, Jeff here, lottery wins hotline. How may I help you?”

“Hi Jeff. It’s also Jeff here. I have a winning ticket”

“That’s great Jeff! I’m so pleased to hear that for you. Could I take you through some checks – is that OK?”

“Of course. You may know most of the answers already I think, but go ahead.”

“Ha ha ha! I doubt that Jeff but let’s start. First, could I ask your full name?”

“Jeffrey Smith”

“No middle name?”

“No – just first and last for me”

“Ha ha ha! Same here Jeff – that’s my simple name too”

“Guess our parents weren’t that clever hey Jeff!”

“Maybe not indeed Jeff. So – what’s your date and place of birth?”

“14th April 1995, Chelmsford”

“Wow! That’s incredible – that’s the same as me Jeff. We may have been in the same maternity hospital ward”

“Exactly so Jeff”

“So Jeff, where did you buy your ticket?”

“Sainsbury's at Tollgate, Stanway last Friday”

“Well that’s even more amazing Jeff – that’s my local store too. And can you please confirm the numbers on your winning ticket”

“Sure - 08, 16, 33, 36, 45, 51”

“Well they are the correct numbers Jeff. We just have to take some more details for our authority officers to visit you and confirm your numbers are correct. What’s your address Jeff?”

“8 Maram Drive, Stanway, Colchester CO3 OPP”

“Errr… I’m not sure what is happening here Jeff. That’s my house. Is this some kind of a joke?”

“No Jeff. This is you. Or rather, this is me. Or us. I am you”.

“I don’t think this is very funny Jeff. Who are you? “

“Like I said. I am you. You are me Jeff. You don’t know it yet… but you soon will”.

“Jeff. Stop right now. This is very weird and I am going to call my supervisor”.

“Don’t do that Jeff! Listen to me. You know that I – you – we – have been playing with a time machine invention?”

“Errr… yes. But nobody knows about that”

“Indeed. So that’s proof that I am who I say I am. Look – this is foolproof. The machine works. I cracked it this evening. I realised once I had cracked it that we’ll never make any money out of it. The government will basically impound it – its military and political potential is enormous. I won’t be allowed to benefit from it really. This way is best”.

“I haven’t a clue what you are on about. It’s not working and I cannot work out how to overcome the fundamental issue of reverse time travel, so…”

“YES! I know! But tonight I – you – will. Just listen! We won’t benefit from it if it becomes public. So the way to make sure I don’t work in this blinking call centre for the rest of my life is to win some money. So I travelled back to Friday with Saturday’s winning numbers. Bought a ticket and smiled right into the CCTV camera at the desk. Bang on proof. Then I travelled back. To now. “

“But we can’t be in the same place at the same time – that’s breaks any laws of nature!”

“No – not at all. It’s some by-product of the ability to go backwards in time. It’s a bit of a mind flip and I can’t get my head round it either – but it’s true. Here’s the best bit. I – we – have won this money. Ten million quid. We are made. All you need do now is contact your supervisor and say that it’s you and can she process your claim. You’ve kept quiet because you’ve been in shock. The CCTV footage will prove it’s true. I – we – are made mate. We are rich.”

“Jeff... I mean… well... yes… Jeff. Me. That’s incredible. That’s GREAT! No more call centre. You – I – am BRILLIANT!


“Jeff? This is Caroline. your supervisor. Can you step into my office please? Do not try to leave the building. I have the call you are on recorded. The Fraud Squad are here to speak to you. And so is a senior civil servant from the Ministry of Defence."

(C) Ian Diddams 2017


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  1. Date: 1/27/2017 5:03:00 PM
    I thought was a great read, thank you for an enjoyable time killing story.