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Cash in a Shoebox

Categories: Creative Writing Prompts.

You’re cleaning out your garage and, hidden away in a back corner, you find an old shoebox. The box is heavier than it should be. When you open it up, you find cash—$40,000, to be exact. Where did the cash come from, who hid it there and why?

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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5 Responses to Cash in a Shoebox

  1. kevinbalboa says:

    “what the hell is this?” I said to myself
    There is a chest I discovered in the attic and in the chest were $40,000. Stunned to what I found I began to wonder how and when this money got here. I was not about to take the money until I knew the facts.
    I yelled my younger brother to come and when he saw the money he too was stunned.
    “Oh my god how much is that?”
    “About $40,000 to be exact, I wonder how it got here?”
    “Why do we spend that money on something?”
    “No you numbnuts we do not know if it is for us or someone’s elses. We need ask our parents during dinner before doing anything with it.”
    As the Family at dinner, me and my brother talked about the cash we found in the chest in the attic. They were just as dumbfounded as we were.
    “$40,000 dollars can you guys show us after we eat?”
    After dinner, we all went up to the attic. There we showed them the money that was in the chest.
    “This is the $40,000 we were talking about.”
    “I can’t believe this how the hell did this money get here. “ Suddenly a bright light shone through the attic window. It was coming from the forest when they then saw someone in the distance coming towards the house.
    “who is that?”
    “I don’t know why don’t you boys stay up here with mom while I go see who it is
    As the person came towards the house we can see what looked to be an old man with a small cane. When my dad opened they engaged in what seemed like a friendly conversation. Then the old man came inside and my dad led the main upstairs towards we were and we showed him the money.
    “So at last that was where the all money went? I am so glad you found it?”
    Confused my dad asked him what he was talking about?
    “Long before you guys moved in, I was the previous owner of this home. Just like you I raised my own family in this place with a beautiful wife and two beautiful daughters. Unfortunently my wife passed away a few years ago and my daughters are now all married with families of their own. I currently live by myself. Anyway I spend all my life searching for this money. I heard a tale that money was hidden in this house but somehow I never thought to look for it here.
    “how did you know we found it?”
    “ I didn’t’ today I decided if I could try finding once in the hopes of finding the money. Your dad opened the door and he said there was $40,000 in the attic. I knew I had to take a look and there it is.”
    “Well we found it but you can have it if you want it.”
    “Oh no you keep the money its yours. I had no intention of keeping the money even if I had found in earlier years. Material things like money, fame, and things simply do not matter to me. I guess I wanted find my pot of gold like many people but I wanted to use that money for a greater good.
    “With that why don’t you boys invest that money into something that could benefit the future”
    “thank you sir”
    But one piece of advice: that money can disappear quickly do not squander it on meaningless thing. Spend it on something worthwhile
    “we will thank you”
    “well I better get on my way. Good to meet you”
    The man left and the house and went slowly back into the forest

  2. mobrien says:

    Here goes… Comments ok. Thanks!

    “Dammit!” I cried as the top shelf finally gave way under the weight that wasn’t supposed to be there in the first place. Covered in dust and oily rags, I looked on the ground to see what the hell had just smashed my now throbbing, bloody nose. Picking up the least disgusting rag off the floor to soak the blood pouring from my nose, I discovered the offending box.
    It was a very old shoebox. Protected by a layer of dust and a dead cricket, I wondered how such a small box could’ve weighed enough to cause such a gusher. I mean they are just shoes. Cursing, I spit that horrible copper taste from my mouth. I would never make it as a vampire, even one of those sparkling in the daylight ones. I picked up the box off the garage floor. Heavy. Really heavy. I hesitated to open it. I broke into fresh goose bumps, a chill ran up my spine. I shouldn’t be doing this. Something was wrong. Never being one to listen to my own instincts, I opened the damn box anyway. Never was too smart.
    Forgetting to breathe, I gaped at the stacked of bills in the box and cursed some more. There had to ten, no twenty thousand dollars here. All in neat banded stacks of Twenties, Tens, and even Fives. Have you ever held a perfect stack of crisp bills in your hands? Running your thumb over the edges, listening to the sound they make as they flip through your fingers? Surreal. It’s better than sex, even really good sex. Fear soon forgotten, I stuffed my face into the box and inhaled deeply. It smelled like new playing cards and dust. I sat down heavily on the floor of the garage, cleaning completely forgotten and counted the bills. Forty large. Ok so I’m apparently not very good at estimating money either.
    In my seemingly new found wealth, it dawned on me that this was not my shoebox. Hell, I have never even seen this box before. Panic was starting to set in. Why was there forty thousand dollars in my garage? Who put it there and when? I bought this house new over three years ago, so it wasn’t left from a previous owner. My broke stoner roommate doesn’t have two nickels to rub together, let alone 40k in sitting in some old shoebox setting haphazardly on a shelf in a garage where somebody could very easily find it and take it.
    Going through all of the possible scenarios in my mind, all of them either really good, or really bad, I never heard the door open behind me. I got up and turned around to go back into the house. There stood my roommate, screwing a silencer to the end of a very large pistol.
    “I wish you hadn’t found that.”

  3. 2Jeffreez says:

    My first thoughts were those of anxiety and concern. My mind was full of the kind of questions that came with finding a box full of $40k in cash. Whose money was this? How did it get here? Was it being looked for right now? I instinctively checked over the bills to see how old they were. Perhaps they had been here for some time, like twenty years or more. Then I could gleefully tuck the cash away in my piggy bank and use some of it to buy furniture. To my dissatisfaction, the bills were only a year old. This box had not been here for long.
    Beads of sweat began to dot my forehead, as the realization that money in this amount found this way always had bad karma attached to it. I had seen enough movies to know this to be true. No one had been over in some time. In fact, no one could even get out into the garage. That’s why I was cleaning it out today. My mind raced for possibilities as to how this money got here in my garage, and it kept running into dead ends. Finding $40k in cash in my garage was like finding a Monet hidden behind a painting I had hanging on my wall. It just wasn’t likely to happen. All of these thoughts transpired in my over active mind over the course of about two minutes when I made the decision to turn the money in. Sure, it was a lame solution, but I couldn’t take the chance of this cash being the result of something illegal or unethical taking place, especially in my garage. I began stepping over boxes and buckets making my way to the door leading into the kitchen. Suddenly I stopped. I thought. I could really use this cash…….and if I turn it in, there’ll be questions, interrogations, and I don’t know how the hell it got there. My next thoughts were on where to hide the money, so no one else would find it. I opened the kitchen door, and setting the box on the table nearest to me I took a seat and just stared at the cash for a moment. It was then that I noticed a ragged piece of paper sticking out of the bills toward the bottom of the box. A note? A receipt? I reached into the box moving aside the c-notes and grabbed the piece of paper sticking out. A note. This is what it said: If you are reading this then you have undoubtedly found the cash and now are as committed as I to the next part of your task. By taking this cash you have agreed to perform a duty for which you have never been required to do. Don’t worry. It is not illegal, unethical, or immoral. It is required, however. The first directive is to never tell anyone about this payment. The next is to find a safe place to keep it other than a bank, for you will need some of it to complete your task, and your task must go unnoticed. The third is to wait by the phone, for the next time it rings the voice on the other end will have important information for you. If you choose not to take this job, return this note to the box, place the box with the cash in the exact spot you found it in the garage, and never speak of what you found. The box will be gone by morning. Well, shit! I thought. What do I do now?

  4. 2Jeffreez says:

    My first thoughts were those of anxiety and concern. My mind was full of the kind of questions that came with finding a box full of $40k in cash. Whose money was this? How did it get here? Was it being looked for right now? I instinctively checked over the bills to see how old they are. Perhaps they had been here for some time, like twenty years or more. Then I could gleefully tuck the cash away in my piggy bank and use some of it to buy furniture. To my dissatisfaction, the bills were only a year old. This box had not been here for long.
    Beads of sweat began to dot my forehead, as the realization that money in this amount found this way always had bad karma attached to it. I had seen enough movies to know this to be true.

  5. cyndilynn says:

    Gasping is for the sudden surprise. Holding your breath is for the ‘I don’t believe this is real’ slow realization. So I wasn’t breathing as I pulled out a handful of $100 dollar bills from the envelope inside the Shoe Mart shoe box that was tucked under a stack of year-old newspapers in the garage. I stared at the bills, dumbly thinking, ‘What the hell…?’
    I knelt on the cool cement floor for several minutes with beads of perspiration forming along my forehead and upper lip before turning the envelope upside down and counting 400 crinkled, torn, and wadded up bills. Forty-thousand dollars littered the garage floor like so many guilty memories after a binge. I cringed, wondering how the money came to be in my garage lodged between the toolbox I rarely use and old cans of the paint I’d used on the living room three years ago.
    Before the questions piled up in my mind, my dog black lab came running through the paper fortune whirl-winded dirty green in every direction. “Charlie!” I yelled. He thought this was some new game, so he grabbed a mouthful and ran to the sidewalk wagging his tail. I ran after him, but this only made the game more fun. “Hey, boy!” Officer Klein took hold of Charlie by the collar. “Don’t run into that street. You’ll get hit.” Klein rubbed Charlie’s neck affectionately. “Thanks for catching him, Joe.” I said. “You know we have a lease law in this community, Lily. What’s this?” He took the bills from Charlie’s mouth, laughing. “Money isn’t good for dogs, you silly old boy.” He looked at the slobber-laden bill, then back to me. “Did you win the lottery?”
    What could I say? I didn’t know where the money came from. Klein looked more closely at the bills, his cop-mind already forming his own questions. I opted for the truth without the details. “No shit?” he said. Klein handed the bills to me. I’ll bet your mom tucked them away for a rainy day. Sorry about your loss, by the way.” I just nodded, took the cash and Charlie. “Thanks.” As I closed the garage door behind, I wondered if he was right. Mom had been a hoarder, which how I ended up with a garage full of junk to clean out.
    The phone rang before I could pick up the rest of the money. It was my sister, Cathy, sounding stressed and out of breath. “You’ve got to pick up, Lily! B.J. is on a rampage and I need your help.” Charlie and I jumped in the car and went to play hero. Cathy was waiting in front of her apartment when we got there. She had a black eye and an overstuffed night bag. She jumped in the car, saying, “Just drive!” She obviously didn’t want to talk. Over a rum and coke she finally opened up about the money she’d taken from B.J. over a year ago. Money she had hid in Mom’s garage.

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