Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Dropout (05/12/11)
TITLE: Give and Take
By Lois Farrow
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My practical skills in carpentry are my best asset in my new career. My inventiveness is pretty handy too. I learned these things from my old man, who’s away for a bit at the moment, but I won’t make his mistakes, and have no intention of joining him.
Don’t pass on my secret, but let me tell you about my current little income earner. I make donation boxes. That may not sound exciting, but there is much demand for my boxes, with their nifty design, multiple lined compartments, ease of emptying, and most of all – security. Security is important for receivers of donations. They don’t want any old Joe emptying out the boxes, not at all. It is always done with two people present and a secure code to open the box. That gives them peace of mind.
Churches and pubs are my biggest customers. A funny combination, you might think, but I don’t mind, anyone who will buy my product is welcome, I say.
Mondays are my busiest days. I go around all the churches, and with the minister or secretary we go to a little back room to empty their box. I have the code, two of us are present, and we count and record the money together. No cheating there. What they don’t know, is that when they leave the room for the receipt book or whatever, I can release the catch of the hidden bottom compartment and remove the contents before they return. A small ledge inside ensures some of the coins each week are funnelled in the direction of the secret compartment. The soft lining helps dull the noise of coins dropping in and skittering hither and thither.
It takes me three days to get around all the pubs. The routine is always the same. We empty the box together, and then they have to leave the room for something. Always gives me the opportunity. If for some reason, I don’t get my cut one week, it can wait till the next, no problem. No one sees me, and I can easily pocket my share.
Now, here’s a funny thing. The churches like putting up little slogans all over the place. Things like GIVE GENEROUSLY by the donation box or JESUS LOVES YOU in the foyer. Doesn’t bother me, I just ignore their sayings, got nothing to do with me. I just want the money to keep dropping in and dropping out and all is sweet with the world.
But here’s a weird one. At one church last week in the back room where we count the money they had a new notice: THOU GOD SEEST ME. Now, what does that mean, I wonder? I looked around, but I couldn’t see any God, and I’m sure no one was watching me. It gave me a funny feeling, though. What if someone were watching? Would I be able to keep doing my job? I don’t want to join my old man doing time. All I’m doing is a bit of give and take, nothing wrong with that. All the same, I wouldn’t like to think anyone was watching.
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