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FICTION


TITLE: Clink, Clank, Clunk
By Nancy Sonneman
04/11/11
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This could be used in a take-home paper. The topic is greed and its consequences. CLINK, CLANK, CLUNK
How well he remembered the sound of dimes, nickels, and quarters as they fell into the little glass bank he got for his fifth birthday. It was shaped like a little town.
Scott’s father gave him the responsibility of a weekly allowance. A quarter went into each of the church and bank buildings. Two dimes and a nickel went into the store building. He like that the store building seemed to have more money, until he learned that two dimes and nickel made up a quarter.
When Scott was eight years old, his father died of cancer. His mother lost all faith in God. Not going to church was fine with Scott. That meant he didn’t have to use the church building in the bank anymore. He asked that his mother pay him an even dollar, as he was growing up now, and asked for a bigger bank. His mother granted both requests. She made banks out of empty coffee cans and paid him in four quarters. Scott had fun listening as the quarters hit that can as well as each other as the banks filled up.
Scott filled the banks to overflowing, and spent every evening between homework and bath time counting the money. He let it run through his fingers onto the desktop, then pressed the cool coins to his face before putting it away.
By the time Scott was ten years old, he had saved nearly twenty-five dollars. Scott spent no money. Instead, he conned his friends, telling them he would pay them back, words that fell to the ground like an anvil.
When Scott was thirteen, his mother raised his allowance to five dollars a week. Scott was overjoyed. He now asked that his mother give him the money in twelve quarters and two dollar bills. Again, she obliged him.
The sound of quarters falling into the banks still tantalized him, but the smell of the dollar bills is what he yearned for. The aroma was like catnip to a cat. He folded the dollars length-wise, pulled them through his fingers, and sniffed a deep, satisfying drag, like someone choosing the best Cuban cigar. Then he wrapped them around each of his fingers and sniffed again. He closed his eyes, and opened his shirt, rubbing each bill in a circular motion over his chest and collar bones.
Before she died, when he was fifteen, his mother persuaded him to take a class in finances, hoping to give him some direction. A field trip led Scott to take a tour of the bank. He stopped at the vault. The bags of money were an aphrodisiac. He knew what his career was to be and he worked his way up to bank president.
Money became like life’s blood. Not one drop would ever spill foolishly. Scott lived like a pauper, spent like a miser, and counted like a king. The high became higher and higher with each passing year.
Within five years, Scott became president of the bank. Then a new ritual began. Every afternoon, just after lunch, Scott locked the door of his office from the inside. He fixed his phone light so that it appeared he was on his line. Then he went into the executive washroom, climbed into the vent and wiggled along until he came out in ceiling of the vault. Then he dropped into it.
Sitting cross-legged, Scott opened his clothes and ran a hand over his clammy skin as he breathed in the perfume of the money surrounding him. When the truck came to collect the money at the end of the day, Scott dressed and went back to his office, just in time to emerge to be seen leaving at quitting time.
Because he had to keep himself skinny to fit into the vent, Scott spent little on groceries and restaurants. His evenings consisted of watching the financial network in the sleeping room on which he spent a minimal of rent. The only picture in the sleeping room was a framed print of coins and bills.
Scott started to unlock the bank’s door one December morning. A sign in the bank’s window stopped him. The bank would be closed on Monday and Tuesday for the big holiday celebration. Scott had never been big on holidays—and wasn’t even sure what this particular one was all about, just that it cost money, something he loathed. He hatched a plan right then and there.
When his secretary came in, he greeted her warmly and then informed her that he was going to move her to the large round desk in the lobby with the information person and the general receptionist. This way, he didn’t have to check in with her on his way out every night, so no one would know when (or if) he left for the day.
Noon on Friday finally came. Scott kept a skeleton crew working that day. He then went via the vent to his spot over the vault. He had canceled the pick up by the truck for that day to give the drivers time off, too.
The whole weekend, over one hundred hours, in the vault. Just Scott and he money. The thought made Scott’s toes tingle.
When everyone was gone for the weekend, Scott opened the ceiling tiles and dropped into the vault. He opened each moneybag and dumped the contents onto the floor of the vault. Soon, he was ankle deep in bills.
The cleaning crew came in early that night, so that they, too, would have a little more time with family and friends. The crew used their own key to get into Scott’s office. The three-man crew fanned out. One emptied the trash can, the second dusted the furniture tops, and the third went into the washroom to start cleaning in there.
The metal grate that fit over the vent lay on the floor, upside down. Assuming that it had fallen off the wall, he called the others to get a soldering gun and materials to repair the damage.
Scott sat cross-legged in the vault, and ran bill after bill through his fingers and over his entire body. Like a child in a leaf pile, he gathered the bills into his arms and threw them up in the air.
The cleaning crew worked in silence, two holding the grate while the third soldered it back in place.
A stack of new billers were still in the bottoms of the bags in the vault. Scott saved them those, still in their wrappers, for a pillow for when he was so weary he had to sleep. He was still getting and thirsty, but he chose to ignore it for another hour or so. Being alone with all that money was his porn magazine. Best of all, he didn’t have to listen to the music piped into the building that told about a baby named “Jesus”.
When Scott finally gave in to his body’s needs, he climbed back up into the vent. He arrived at the bathroom, but found the passage way blocked. It clinked as he pushed and kicked at it. It didn’t even budge. Scott pushed and kicked at every vent he could find. Nothing moved.
The safe deposit box clanked as opened it and dumped out its contents to use as a makeshift toilet.
He grew hungrier, thirstier, and weaker as time passed. Voices assaulted Scott’s mind by Sunday night. Someone was telling about a birthday that he had ignored year after year.
He continued to pull the bills across this lips and nostrils over and over again. Nothing was going to keep him from the aroma he so craved.
By Monday night, he found the blackness that threatened to surround him. The bills were starting to have bloody faces, on them, the head crowned with thorns. He didn’t have the strength to climb back into the vent for one more vain attempt at escape. Less than forty-eight hours would mean freedom from it all.
On Tuesday morning, Scott’s freedom came. A large shadow fell over him and he bills. He shivered as the shadow blocked out the artificial light over head. His cracked, saliva-free lips parted to speak, but before he could utter a sound, the blackness claimed him and he fell with a clunk onto his face as the bills around him burst into one huge fireball.
As they arrived for work on Wednesday morning, everyone greeted each other with tales of the holiday they had just spent. The timer on the vault went off and the heavy door opened.
There lay Scott’s nude body amidst the bills. Lapels were used against the gag-inducing odor from the small toilet/drawer mixed with the smell of Scott’s body. The coroner was called in immediately. One the ride to the morgue, the coroner pried something from Scott’s fingers.
It was a hundred dollar bill. The coroner noticed that it was folded length-wise and that the words “In God We Trust” were clear on the bill.
# # #

















This could be for a take home paper/bulletin insert. It is about greed.
CLINK, CLANK, CLUNK
How well he remembered the sound of dimes, nickels, and quarters as they fell into the little glass bank he got for his fifth birthday. It was shaped like a little town.
Scott’s father gave him the responsibility of a weekly allowance. A quarter went into each of the church and bank buildings. Two dimes and a nickel went into the store building. He like that the store building seemed to have more money, until he learned that two dimes and nickel made up a quarter.
When Scott was eight years old, his father died of cancer. His mother lost all faith in God. Not going to church was fine with Scott. That meant he didn’t have to use the church building in the bank anymore. He asked that his mother pay him an even dollar, as he was growing up now, and asked for a bigger bank. His mother granted both requests. She made banks out of empty coffee cans and paid him in four quarters. Scott had fun listening as the quarters hit that can as well as each other as the banks filled up.
Scott filled the banks to overflowing, and spent every evening between homework and bath time counting the money. He let it run through his fingers onto the desktop, then pressed the cool coins to his face before putting it away.
By the time Scott was ten years old, he had saved nearly twenty-five dollars. Scott spent no money. Instead, he conned his friends, telling them he would pay them back, words that fell to the ground like an anvil.
When Scott was thirteen, his mother raised his allowance to five dollars a week. Scott was overjoyed. He now asked that his mother give him the money in twelve quarters and two dollar bills. Again, she obliged him.
The sound of quarters falling into the banks still tantalized him, but the smell of the dollar bills is what he yearned for. The aroma was like catnip to a cat. He folded the dollars length-wise, pulled them through his fingers, and sniffed a deep, satisfying drag, like someone choosing the best Cuban cigar. Then he wrapped them around each of his fingers and sniffed again. He closed his eyes, and opened his shirt, rubbing each bill in a circular motion over his chest and collar bones.
Before she died, when he was fifteen, his mother persuaded him to take a class in finances, hoping to give him some direction. A field trip led Scott to take a tour of the bank. He stopped at the vault. The bags of money were an aphrodisiac. He knew what his career was to be and he worked his way up to bank president.
Money became like life’s blood. Not one drop would ever spill foolishly. Scott lived like a pauper, spent like a miser, and counted like a king. The high became higher and higher with each passing year.
Within five years, Scott became president of the bank. Then a new ritual began. Every afternoon, just after lunch, Scott locked the door of his office from the inside. He fixed his phone light so that it appeared he was on his line. Then he went into the executive washroom, climbed into the vent and wiggled along until he came out in ceiling of the vault. Then he dropped into it.
Sitting cross-legged, Scott opened his clothes and ran a hand over his clammy skin as he breathed in the perfume of the money surrounding him. When the truck came to collect the money at the end of the day, Scott dressed and went back to his office, just in time to emerge to be seen leaving at quitting time.
Because he had to keep himself skinny to fit into the vent, Scott spent little on groceries and restaurants. His evenings consisted of watching the financial network in the sleeping room on which he spent a minimal of rent. The only picture in the sleeping room was a framed print of coins and bills.
Scott started to unlock the bank’s door one December morning. A sign in the bank’s window stopped him. The bank would be closed on Monday and Tuesday for the big holiday celebration. Scott had never been big on holidays—and wasn’t even sure what this particular one was all about, just that it cost money, something he loathed. He hatched a plan right then and there.
When his secretary came in, he greeted her warmly and then informed her that he was going to move her to the large round desk in the lobby with the information person and the general receptionist. This way, he didn’t have to check in with her on his way out every night, so no one would know when (or if) he left for the day.
Noon on Friday finally came. Scott kept a skeleton crew working that day. He then went via the vent to his spot over the vault. He had canceled the pick up by the truck for that day to give the drivers time off, too.
The whole weekend, over one hundred hours, in the vault. Just Scott and he money. The thought made Scott’s toes tingle.
When everyone was gone for the weekend, Scott opened the ceiling tiles and dropped into the vault. He opened each moneybag and dumped the contents onto the floor of the vault. Soon, he was ankle deep in bills.
The cleaning crew came in early that night, so that they, too, would have a little more time with family and friends. The crew used their own key to get into Scott’s office. The three-man crew fanned out. One emptied the trash can, the second dusted the furniture tops, and the third went into the washroom to start cleaning in there.
The metal grate that fit over the vent lay on the floor, upside down. Assuming that it had fallen off the wall, he called the others to get a soldering gun and materials to repair the damage.
Scott sat cross-legged in the vault, and ran bill after bill through his fingers and over his entire body. Like a child in a leaf pile, he gathered the bills into his arms and threw them up in the air.
The cleaning crew worked in silence, two holding the grate while the third soldered it back in place.
A stack of new billers were still in the bottoms of the bags in the vault. Scott saved them those, still in their wrappers, for a pillow for when he was so weary he had to sleep. He was still getting and thirsty, but he chose to ignore it for another hour or so. Being alone with all that money was his porn magazine. Best of all, he didn’t have to listen to the music piped into the building that told about a baby named “Jesus”.
When Scott finally gave in to his body’s needs, he climbed back up into the vent. He arrived at the bathroom, but found the passage way blocked. It clinked as he pushed and kicked at it. It didn’t even budge. Scott pushed and kicked at every vent he could find. Nothing moved.
The safe deposit box clanked as opened it and dumped out its contents to use as a makeshift toilet.
He grew hungrier, thirstier, and weaker as time passed. Voices assaulted Scott’s mind by Sunday night. Someone was telling about a birthday that he had ignored year after year.
He continued to pull the bills across this lips and nostrils over and over again. Nothing was going to keep him from the aroma he so craved.
By Monday night, he found the blackness that threatened to surround him. The bills were starting to have bloody faces, on them, the head crowned with thorns. He didn’t have the strength to climb back into the vent for one more vain attempt at escape. Less than forty-eight hours would mean freedom from it all.
On Tuesday morning, Scott’s freedom came. A large shadow fell over him and he bills. He shivered as the shadow blocked out the artificial light over head. His cracked, saliva-free lips parted to speak, but before he could utter a sound, the blackness claimed him and he fell with a clunk onto his face as the bills around him burst into one huge fireball.
As they arrived for work on Wednesday morning, everyone greeted each other with tales of the holiday they had just spent. The timer on the vault went off and the heavy door opened.
There lay Scott’s nude body amidst the bills. Lapels were used against the gag-inducing odor from the small toilet/drawer mixed with the smell of Scott’s body. The coroner was called in immediately. One the ride to the morgue, the coroner pried something from Scott’s fingers.
It was a hundred dollar bill. The coroner noticed that it was folded length-wise and that the words “In God We Trust” were clear on the bill.
# # #
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