Play Money

This is part eleven of the continuing saga, The Last Grain of Sand, which I began via a prompt at Bluebell Books’ Short Story Slam several weeks ago. The ten previous parts are available by clicking on the links at the end of this post. This new segment is being posted to Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday. Enjoy!

Part eleven:

Play Money

I lay face down in the seat of the limo, dreading the sound of footsteps. Visions of a crazed assassin placing a gun to the back of my head danced in my mind, as I imagined the last sound I’d ever hear being the roar of a rifle shot at very close range. I jumped and let out an embarrassing squeak when I heard the second rifle shot—a long way from the back of my head, mind you.

Easing up enough so I could peer over the top of the front seat, I searched the wooded area at the end of the parking lot. I spotted the guy—dressed in full camo—as he raised the rifle to his shoulder and squeezed off another round. I jerked at the sound, and the guy turned suddenly, as if he’d caught my movement out the corner of his eye. He stared intently toward the limousine. I froze.

I let out another one of those embarrassing little whimper-scream-squeaks when he turned and started walking toward me. I mumbled, “Get it together, Chuck.” The thought crossed my mind the guy wouldn’t want to kill me; I might be the only other human being alive.

I exited the back seat slowly, raising my hands so the guy could see I was un-armed. When he stopped in front of me, he grinned and said, “Sup?” he was a good six inches shorter than my six feet, and had a round face that reminded me of a cartoon character—one of those old one’s my dad used to get a big kick out of; Elmer, I think his name was; talked funny.

I stammered, not quite sure how to answer under these conditions—the world having seemingly ended and all. “I… uh… the… uh…”

“Yeh, yeh, yeh,” the guy said, jerking his head toward the trees at the end of the parking lot. “Come on. Want to show you something.” He started off toward the trees.

“You seen anyone else?” I asked, as I caught up to him.

He shook his head. “Nope. You’re the first one. Alive. Where you from?”


One of his eyebrows shot up. “Rich?” he asked.

“Surfer,” I answered.

He snorted laughter and shot me a huge grin. His round face had flushed, and he looked like a basketball with teeth. I couldn’t have restrained my return grin if I’d tried.

At the tree line, and he walked to a large pine and went around behind it; pointing at an ancient looking box—it looked like a treasure chest from one of Johnny Depp’s movies—he said, “Check this out.”

As he knelt in front of the box and lifted the hinged lid, I leaned over him and peered into it. It was full of hundred dollar bills—old ones from the looks of them.

“Wow!” I said, stepping back as he stood up. He kicked the lid, and it clunked shut. “Where’d you find it?”

“In my attic,” he said, pulling a crumpled piece of paper out of his shirt pocket and handing it to me. The paper—like the bills—appeared to be old; it felt brittle. Scrawled at an angle across one side of it were the words, Here’s your cut, see you in Mexico.

He shrugged. “I just rented the house a couple weeks ago. No telling how long the chest has been up there, or who put it there. It was in a corner; had a false wall in front of it.”

I jumped as he raised the rifle, but managed to stifle my recently acquired girlie squeak.

He laughed, pointed the rifle at the clubhouse and said, “Anything left to eat in there?”

I told him there was lots of stuff, and he started walking toward the building. Looking over his shoulder, he said, “Come on. I’m starved!”

I said, “What about the chest?”

He said, “It ain’t going nowhere. Besides; might as well be Monopoly money. What we gonna buy with it?”

I looked down at the box and realized he was right. All that cash was nothing but play money now.

Copyright © 2012 C. Mashburn

Part one: The Last Grain of Sand

Part two: Hope

Part three: Like a Fairy Tale

Part four: Then There Were Three

Part five: Cinnamon

Part six: L. Aliens in the Morning

Part seven: Dearest Wife

Part eight: Dearest John

Part nine: L. Angel

Part ten: The Books


  1. Mikael said

    You’re a really talented writer! I want to go read the other parts of this now. 🙂

  2. Sherry Mashburn said

    Good chapter, Charlie! The play money may be a little prophetic, don’t you think?

  3. oooh I like the twist about the play money! Nice. 🙂

    • Thanks, Kellie! I aprreciate you letting me post my story segments on FWF. I know they aren’t really what you’re looking for.

  4. ~L said

    I tried so hard to write about this for FWF… I just saw a different story within the picture… This was so phenominial!! You blow my mind with what you can write in just a few hours!!!

    • I like to say my mind is a strange and wonderful place. Always something going on. I actually took these 11 segments and put them together this afternoon. First step toward making them the beginning of a novel. I’m gonna do it!
      I’m glad you enjoy the things I write, L. You encourage me!

  5. elizena said

    Yes!! Another live human. I’m so glad limo guy is okay and now has someone else to talk to. I was really worried about him. And I have to agree with Sherry about the play money being kind of prophetic.
    You know I’ve read and reread this story and I have to say it’s just as exciting the second, third and fourth time around. The fourth time I read it to my oldest great-niece and she loved it. She asked me where she could buy the book and I had to disappoint her and tell her it wasn’t available for purchase…yet! I’m hoping that one day soon I may be able to buy this in hardback. Be blessed!

    • I hope it’s available, too, Elizena! I actually started putting it together yesterday. I’m putting all the segments into book form, and then I’m going to read them through and see what happens. I have a feeling I will be taking off on it real soon. I don’t know if I will continue to post every chapter though. I write pretty fast, and that might be too, much for the blog. I’ll have to think about that.
      I’m so glad you’re enjoying it. A new reader began reading the story yesterday, and I was shocked this morning when I got up and found 16 comments (yours and hers) on my blog! I love it! Thank you so much for all your comments, Elizena. They encourage me tremendously!

  6. terri0729 said

    Another great – now let’s see what you do with the next one, lol!!! Fabulous story line you’ve got going, Charlie. smiles, Terri

  7. Talicha J. said

    Love the concept that you went with for this. The last few lines were great! Well, the whole thing was really awesome but especially the last few lines. It really put the situation into perspective for me. Awesome, keep creating! And thanks for commenting on my story as well, the feedback is much appreciated!

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