Lost Treasures By Thomas Peter McCarthy

October 2, 2014 Comments Off on Lost Treasures By Thomas Peter McCarthy

At long last, Ray was alone to enjoy the spoils of a hard-fought war. At his feet sat four treasure chests, their contents unknown to him, forgotten by all the world, save the poor souls who had lost them to chance.

Ray’s fingers trembled as he unzipped the first one.

A floral Billabong backpack. Its contents were scattered and disorganized. Socks and panties. A tank top. A vial of pepper spray. A paperback copy of Fifty Shades of Grey. A personal diary filled with thirty pages of bad poetry and twelve more of Twilight fan fiction. A digital watch, cheap-looking. No real scratch there. A cell phone charger, but no cell phone. Sun tan lotion. Vibrator. Lipstick. Walmart jewelry. A seashell necklace with a red pendant of hardened amber that enveloped a mummified mosquito.

Muttering sourly to himself, he scribbled loss in his notebook.

And behind door number two…

He unzipped the duffel bag. Black slacks and buttoned shirts. A black-green Budweiser tie. A paperback copy of Stephen King’s Needful Things. A Samsung Galaxy. A rose-colored Chronograph Stainless Steel watch with leather straps. A TomTom GPS with a visual screen guider, probably for the rental car. Eyeglasses. A gold wedding band. A bag of condoms.

A grin creased his face like two greedy little worms digging into an apple. Gain.

The third treasure chest was a bright lipstick-red Samsonite carry-on. It was as hard and looked like a giant cell phone cover. A fistful of graphic novels were wedged inside. From Hell. Watchmen. The Walking Dead, Issues 1-4. A Brooklyn Nets’ cap. A black fedora. Sandals. A hackie sack. A bag of weed that no longer smelled potent. An iMac Pro, working condition, no visible damage to the outside. Some DVD’s: The Prestige. Avatar. Contagion. American Gangster. Ninja Scroll. Dog Day Afternoon. Inside Man. He scoffed when he saw the last item. Some pretentious hipster had brought To Kill A Mockingbird on vacation with him.

Gain.

The final chest was boiled brown leather. The zipper was stubborn. A tackle box. Two black horseshoes. A pocket-sized copy of the US constitution. An hourglass. A half-filled diary. Leafing through it, the man’s irreverence and natural bravado reminded Ray of Hunter S. Thompson. There wasn’t much else. A small coin pouch was tucked beneath a Las Vegas tourist shirt. Holding it upside down, a handful of quarters tumbled out, along with a curious little medallion. Ray rubbed his thumb on it. A Silver Star for Valor.

Frowning, he flicked it into the trash bag, its purple ribbon trailing out behind it like the cape of a vanquished hero.

Loss.

Everything else that he couldn’t salvage or resell he dumped into the trash. All of the Walmart jewelry and suntan lotion and tourist shirts, the condoms and socks and the odorless weed.

Ray’s mustache twitched. Somewhere, another couple of suitcases had gone missing. Next week he’d return to the San Diego airport lost baggage center and bid on them.

© 2014 Thomas Peter McCarthy

Thomas Peter McCarthy is an amateur fiction writer/poker player from South Jersey. He graduated from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey with a BA in English. He maintains a website at http://www.beneathblackbridges.com where he writes all genres of fiction.

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