Eleven Cents

True story. Or, it could be. It’s a possible story?

edit: I actually decided to leave out the backstory of this story until after the story, since it kinda spoils it a little bit.

Music this time isn’t an album, it’s just one song. One seventeen-minute song. I’ve been listening to this band a bit recently and I really love them. This is a fairly ambient, soft song, but they do some pretty sweet progressive metal stuff as well.


Little two-year-old Lance had been saving up. If he “helped” his mother with the dishes after lunch, she gave him a penny. And now he had eleven pennies, enough to buy a black licorice wheel at the corner store, including tax.
He walked with his mother on his still-slightly-unsteady legs and up the stairs to the shop. And while he walked, the penny and dime (his mother had let him trade in ten pennies for a dime for ease) jingled around in his pocket, slowly slipping closer and closer to the small hole at the bottom of his pocket. And there, just at the top of the stairs, they fell out of his pocket and onto the pavement below, unbeknownst to either Lance or his mother.
In the store, after choosing his licorice wheel and going to the cashier, Lance’s little heart broke when he put his hand, still thick with baby fat, into his pocket to retrieve the coins and found them missing.
His mother covered the eleven cents, saying that he had probably just left them behind at the house. Lance tried to smile without much success, but by the time they had returned to the car and he began eating the licorice, his spirits had risen.
Back at the house, though, Lance and his mother couldn’t find the coins. Another eleven times washing dishes for Lance.
But Lance isn’t the subject of this story. Not even his mother is the subject. The coins are.
The coins laid there, one on the pavement with the other still on the stairs. They laid there until a woman named June, probably around her mid sixties, saw them sitting there and bent over to pick them up with some difficulty – her back had been so stiff for the past few years you know, she had gone to the doctor but said they couldn’t prescribe anything for it, it was caused by her weight and posture, but she says that’s garbage, right, because they handed out opiates like candy to her husband while he had been alive, what was the difference between back problems caused by the war and a mixture of bad posture and excess body weight?
She picked up the coins and put them, stacked, on the stairs. She didn’t need coins, she never liked carrying change around, so she left them there and hoped their owner would find them if they were missing them.
Several other people passed after that, some going into the store, some just walking by, and a few saw the pennies. Most didn’t care about a penny and dime, some thought about it for a moment and decided that bending down to pick them up wasn’t even worth the eleven cents.
Then I picked them up and threw them in my pocket along with the assembly of other coins already in there. I didn’t need eleven cents, sure, but hey, it was free money. Stores take coins, even if it’s a bit of an inconvenience. Mostly just for them, I wasn’t the one who had to count it all out and sort it into the register.


edit: Here’s what I mentioned earlier.

I found a penny and dime sitting on some cement stairs and, of course, grabbed them. Always pick up any change I find. Then I began thinking of a possible “backstory” for the coins. They were purposefully stacked on the cement, so someone had put them like that. How had they gotten like that? The owner of the coins hadn’t done it, or they would’ve taken them back.

Thus this story was born.


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