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The Tale of His Precious Jewels

by

Donald B. Stephens

“Not again!” Harold yelled. “I’ll kill someone before I let them pull that one on me again!” He slammed the door and fell into his recliner to brood.
Those evil people – they always said the same thing whenever he went there. The way they looked at him with their patronizing smiles and their devious offers of help. He knew. He knew what they really wanted. He knew how they conspired behind his back. How they laughed on the inside at him and his feeble attempt to get what was rightfully his, only to work themselves into hysterics as soon as he left. They want me to defile my precious jewels.
I’ll show them, he vowed. They won’t know what hit em.
Harold sat up. A plan was forming in his anger fueled mind. He would storm back and demand what he should have gotten the last twelve times. This time it would be different – but how? Furiously he ran his wrinkled hands over his bald head as he pondered his next move. Nephew George – the thought seemed to come from nowhere.
Harold hadn’t spoken to George in ages. He was a cop – surely a cop could enforce his demands. I’ll need more proof than my word, Harold decided, after remembering his last call to his nephew. I’ll have to show him.
It was risky. His neighbors tried to steal them, the girl who brought them was a liar and even his own mother had once taken one home with her. Sure, she said it was a mistake, but Harold knew better. If I keep an eye on George the whole time; it’ll be alright. I’ll take out one and keep the rest locked up – just in case.
Suddenly he was struck by a dagger of fear, as an unthinkable thought threatened to foil his revenge. What if they’re gone? What if someone broke in and stole them while I argued with those idiots at the drug store?
His cane hit the floor, as he leapt out of the recliner. The couch, a bar stool and the kitchen table became props to support his violent move towards the refrigerator. The door swung open and out came a coffee can. Grounds flew as he worked feverishly to retrieve the key. A sigh. His precious were safe.
Satisfied that no one could have gotten through the locked door without the key, he limped towards the closet. His arthritic hands ached as he fumbled with the lock. The door creaked open and a flick of a switch brought light.
He didn’t have to venture far into the walk-in closet. On the first shelf sat a stack of his precious papers. He thumbed through today’s edition. There in black and white, at the bottom of page nine: “15 % off Flush-Boy Laxative” encompassed in dashes. George would have to act now. Harold’s wrath would be appeased. They couldn’t deny him the savings now. Life was sweet again.

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