Children Fiction posted December 17, 2017

This work has reached the exceptional level
A children's story of found money.

Lost and Found

by Sharon Meda

Megan is a bright and curious little girl, as are most children of eight years old. When walking she looks up, down, or sideways, never where she's going. On this cool fall day her roving eyes served her well. She spotted, partially covered by leaves and litter, a $100 bill. She looked to see if anyone was watching and stooped to crumple the bill in her tiny hand. Sliding it into her jacket pocket she took another guilty look around and then scurried off to school.

Her day was spent watching her jacket hung on its peg by the door. During lunch she grabbed it off the peg and ran to the far side of the playground to pull out the crumpled bill and stare at it and see that it was real and now belonged to her. When some older kids wandered by, she crammed it back into her pocket and rushed back into the school ignoring her best friend Sara's plea to come and play.

It wasn't until she was riding home on the school bus that she started to wonder about who the bill had belonged to before it came to be hers. 'Probably somebody rich', she thought. 'Why else would they be carelessly packing around $100 bills?'

She imagined a tall man in a fine wool jacket walking to his big car and pulling out a wad of money, not noticing as one bill drifted to the ground. Stuffing the wad back in his pocket, he climbed into his car and drove away, just then a breeze blew some leaves to cover most of the lost bill.

But, then she thought, what if the bill had been a present for his little niece living with her grandma because her parents were killed in a car crash. She'd have treasured that $100 because it came from her generous uncle. And she'd be dreaming, even now if she hadn't realized she'd lost it, of all the toys and treats that the bill could buy. She could use it to buy a present for her grandmother. She would be heartbroken to find she'd lost that $100.

Of course, Suzy, she decided her name was probably Suzy, would have given the bill to her grandmother for safe keeping. After all, little girls sometimes lost things and it would be safer with an adult, only in this case it wasn't. Her grandmother must have lost the bill given to her for safe keeping. She was probably frantically scouring the sidewalk now trying to find it. Poor Gramma Nettie would have to tell Suzy she'd lost her money when she got home from school.

Getting off the bus she glanced all around to see if maybe Gramma Nettie had followed her home, but she was alone. Now what to do? How could she return the bill if she couldn't find Gramma Nettie?

Walking slowly towards her house she debated whether to tell her mom of her new-found treasure. She knew she should, but there was no rush. She'd think on it some more. Inside the house she hung her jacket by the door and rushed through her after school chores. Once the dishwasher was emptied and the garbage taken out she walked, as casually as she could, to her jacket. With a furtive look around, she reached into the pocket and squeezed her hand around the crumpled bill. Darting down the stairs, once in her room she closed the door and sat on her bed. Carefully she straightened the bill on her pillow. She'd never had a $100 bill before. Dreams of the things she could buy started running through her mind. A new bike, an iPod, wheelie shoes, the possibilities were endless.

Then her thoughts returned to Grandma Nettie. She wouldn't have dropped the money because Grandmas aren't that careless. She'd probably put the money in the bank, after all, that made the most sense. She would've deposited the money into an account for Suzy, so it would be there when Suzy decided what she wanted to spend the money on.

The bill had probably fallen out of one of the bags that the security guards took out to their armored trucks every day. The bags were stuffed with money, so the bill could easily have slipped out. Everyone knew that banks had loads of money, so they wouldn't even miss it. There was no way they could trace it back to Suzie's account, so she'd still have her $100. Yes, the money belonged to Megan for sure.

But now, what was she going to do with it? If she told Mom she would likely take it away saying they had to find the owner. But, the bank hadn't even noticed they were one bill short in the bag. It didn't make sense to give it back to them.

But, if she didn't tell Mom, how was she going to spend it? She couldn't go to the store by herself. Finally, she decided to put the bill under her pillow and sleep on it. Maybe in the morning she'd know what to do.

Next morning, Mom watched Megan toying with her breakfast and sat down at the table across from her.

"What's up? Are you feeling alright?" Mom reached across the table to feel Megan's forehead.
"I'm fine. Mom?"
"If I find something somebody lost, does it belong to me?"
"Hm. Good question. It depends on what it is."
Not looking up Megan asked, "What if I found, say, a hundred dollars?"
"Well, that's a lot of money, somebody would surely be missing that."
"But, what if they didn't miss it, would it be mine to spend?"
"I guess, if you knew for sure no one was looking for it. Why do you ask?"
"No reason, gotta go. Don't want to miss my bus."

Mom frowned as she watched her daughter grab her lunch bag and rush out the door. Where would she find a hundred dollars?

At the same moment that Mom was getting a call from the school saying that her daughter hadn't shown up to class, Megan stood in the spot where she had found the bill, staring at the big gray bank building across the street.

Marching up to the teller, Megan laid the bill on the counter stating, "I'd like to put something in your lost and found, please."

"Shouldn't you be in school?"

"This is more important. I'll go to school after."

"I see, well if you want to put something in our lost and found I'll need your phone number. In case no one claims it, then we can call you." The teller then went to call Megan's mom.

Megan was sitting squirming in a chair behind the counter when her mom rushed in. "Megan, what's going on? Are you ok?"

On the walk to the school Mom and Megan discussed what she could do with the money she'd found. Megan said she really wanted to put it to good use, so they came up with a plan.

The next day was Saturday and Megan and her mom arrived at their local grocers at a little after 10:00. They loaded two grocery carts with canned goods and Megan proudly handed the $100 bill to the clerk. The change was $2.20, and Mom said she could keep it.

They drove their purchase to the local homeless shelter and unloaded the boxes and bags at the back door. The man that came out to receive the goods invited them in saying "It's lunch time now, come and see who your donation is going to help."

As they stood in the doorway to the cafeteria, Megan watched as men and women of different ages, all apparently hungry, gobbling down a fine hot meal.

As they walked back to the car she took her mother's hand. "I'm glad we did that."
"Me too."
"But it's too bad about the wheelie shoes."
Mom smiled proudly down at her daughter's blonde head. 'Christmas is coming' she thought.

Found It writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
Write a story where your character found something that impacts his or her life. Maximum word count: 2,000 words.

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© Copyright 2018. Sharon Meda All rights reserved.
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