Writing Prompt : Finding a Bag of Cash

There was a pond behind Dad’s office. I probably could’ve waded to the middle and not had it go past my skinny knees, but we never went in. It’s not that we were afraid of its muddy depths; we just never made the plunge because the water was not the source of our amusement. The universe we created around it was.

That pond was the ocean, and the cattails were the towers of great cities that my brothers and I ruled over. We piled rocks for fortresses and flew banners made of flowers and leaves. Old toys were carried from home to serve as our resources, or trade goods and subjects. They were our lands, and they were as mighty as our imaginations could make them.

These three kingdoms squabbled, as monarchies ruled by children are want to do, but no conflict in the history of the pond universe was greater than that of the pirates’ treasure.

Bobby found it first, laying crisp on the mid-morning grass, pristine as if it had floated to its resting spot directly from the printer. Twenty. Whole. Dollars.

He claimed it for his own. Finders keepers. But it was not unearthed within his territorial borders. It was on my land, my pastures! Those very fields bred and exported the finest racehorses in all the world. He even knocked a plastic stallion over in pursuit of the prize. The treasure was surely mine. Harsh negotiations were in order.

Dad worked inside, oblivious to the conflict raging just outside his window.

A pirate had stashed his treasure on my land, lands where piracy was obviously illegal. Bobby, predictably at age 5, was unswayed by my understanding of the law. Finders keepers, he argued, finders keepers.

Mikey, who had no claim whatsoever, stood by with his fists clenched. It wasn’t fair. He wanted the treasure too. He grabbed one of Bobby’s trains (his resource of choice) and flung it towards the pond.

To hell with negotiating! The conflict between two nations escalated to full out world war. Bobby retaliated by dismantling a carefully stacked rock castle. I pulled out Mikey’s cattail standards with reckless abandon. We shouted, kicked, and destroyed the world.

Dad heard us yelling from inside and came out to face the Apocalypse.

I was the oldest, the best liar. We feigned innocence while surrounded by vegetative devastation. Once he left we agreed to split the treasure and rebuild our fallen cities.

But I was the oldest, the only one who knew how to use division. More treasure for me.