Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Flash Fiction: The Love Of Money

by Michael Seese

It's been a while since I contributed to the Indies Unlimited flash contest. Nothing personal, of course. Either I was busy, or the photo didn't click. But this week, I resolved to come up with something.

Here is the photo prompt.


And this is "The Love Of Money."

"The love of money is the root of all evil."

A lot of wisdom was poured into the Bible. Perhaps I should have gone to that well more often.

Five gold eggs rattle in my empty hands. Five gold eggs which have sealed three fates.

Between 1885 and 1917, the House of Fabergé crafted 50 bejeweled eggs, give or take, for Tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II. This, we all know. But Wikipedia won't tell you there once existed five gold eggs as well. Weighing just over three pound each, collectively they're worth just south of $400,000 today. How they came into my possession is largely irrelevant, though the story may involve a Commandment or two.

History managed to forget them. Others did not.

The men who kicked down our door made an offer that was straightforward and succinct. And non-negotiable.

"Give them to us, and we'll let you live."

"It's not that simple," I said. "They're not here."

So they amended the deal.

"Deliver to us the eggs, and we'll deliver back to you your wife and son."

It shouldn't be this hard. But it is.

An announcement comes over the loudspeaker.

"Attention passengers, this is the final boarding call for flight 1678, direct service to Berlin."

I take the photo out of my wallet and lay it on the seat next to me. I won't be needing it any more. I pocket the lucre and board the plane, cursing my love of money with each weighted step.

Remember, you CAN vote for it between the hours of 5:00 and 8:00 p.m. EST tomorrow, Wednesday, right here.

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