Maudlin's Mayhem Cover


“Let’s go over this once again.” I was ready to smack the nice credit union representative over the head with a sock full of pennies. “I didn’t go online this morning and I didn’t transfer any money to a stranger’s account in Dubai. I’ve never even been to Dubai. I don’t live in Dubai. I don’t own a bed and breakfast in Dubai. Why the hell would I transfer money to Dubai?” My voice raised perilously close to a screech.

Amanda finally called the manager.

“It’s about time. I’ve only been asking to talk to your manager for the past twenty minutes.” I was grumpy and not inclined to be particularly diplomatic.

While Amanda ran over what had happened with the tall, professional looking woman wearing a blue pantsuit, a tidy blonde chignon, and heels that jacked her up to at least six-three, I tried to control my anger.

The manager—whose nametag read Emily Chambers—sat down at the desk, motioning for Amanda to back away. Her hands flew over the keys as she examined my account. I tried to practice my deep breathing. The meditation always worked in magic, but I kept coming back to the image of a generically squirrely scam artist, grinning as he rolled around on my money.

“Here we go. Yes, this morning at three AM we logged a transaction to transfer fifty-four thousand dollars. It was automatically logged as suspicious. Normally someone should have contacted you but…oh dear. Oh dear.”

That didn’t sound good. “Oh dear what?”

The bridge of Emily’s nose suddenly furrowed as she ran her fingers along a line on the screen. “Well, for heavens sake, it looks like the alert was cancelled by…some program that I don’t recognize. The transaction was approved and put through.”

I rubbed my forehead. “You can transfer it back, right? No problems?” I knew I was being wildly optimistic, but sometimes grasping at straws seemed the thing to do.

“I’m sorry,” Emily flashed me a patent smile. “We’ll return the money to your account, of course, but this is going to involve alerting the police and the FBI. This appears to be an international incident. I have to talk to my supervisor in the main branch of the credit union about how we’re going to go about this. I estimate a ten-day lag before we’ll be able to take the hold off your account. In the meantime, we’ll waive any NSF fees that come in because of this.” She beamed, as if the problem were solved.

“You have to be joking. Ten days? I had fifty-five thousand dollars in there—” I jumped up, leaning on the desk. “I want access to my money. This is the credit union’s fault—”

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Excerpt: Maudlin’s Mayhem

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