Sunday, February 28, 2010

The New Coin in Squeaker's Collection.

Squeaker Waits for the Coastal Express

Squeaker Whittier has a good life at 45 Bright Ends Close in Cloverdale. He’s extra happy today because he has, in his pocket, a bright shiny nickel. He emptied the trash and swept the kitchen to earn it. His mother wanted to pay a penny but Squeaker convinced her his work was worth more than that. Besides, he already had several pennies in his coin collection. So many in fact, his friends were loosing interest in seeing his collection when they came over to play video games.

Squeaker hurried through the sweeping, not taking care to sweep under the table. Something his mother caught onto soon enough when she walked in to inspect. She ordered another sweeping. Squeaker bargained for another nickel for an extra good job. She countered with the offer of a penny for the job he’d already done. She said a penny was all it was worth to her. Squeaker agreed on the nickel and took his time to be sure he got everything off the floor, including the cheerios newly spilled onto the floor from the cereal box. While he was bargaining with his mother, his little brother went into the kitchen and stuck his hand deep into the cereal box searching for the advertised prize waiting in every specially marked box. Squeaker squealed on his brother. His brother got a swat on the behind, making cleaning his mess worth it.

At half passed eleven Squeaker’s mom gave the all clear. She reached into her purse and took out a shiny new nickel.
“I’m guessing this is for your collection,” she asked. She hated giving Squeaker money for his special coin collection. She thought it such a waste but he’d earned it and therefore he should make the decision what to do with his own pocket money.

Squeaker snatched the money from her hand, grabbed his coat and rushed outside into the winter morning. He ran out of Bright End’s Close onto Station Street. He ran past a few neighbors always remember to say “Good Morning,” as he'd been taught.

He stopped at Bobby’s house and rang the bell. Bobby’s mother answered.
“Can Bobby come out to play?” Squeaker asked. Bobby’s mother was always cautious about Squeaker. She knew how much he loved playing around the train tracks and that worried her.
“Are you going to the tracks?” she asked. “And don’t you lie to me Squeaker Whittier or I’ll be calling your mom.”
“Yes ma’am,” Squeaker responded.
“Then the answer is no. Bobby cannot go to the tracks. They’re too dangerous. Stop by and pick him up on your way home if you want.” She started shutting the door then stopped. “By the way, Thanks for telling me the truth. You’re a good boy Squeaker.”

Squeaker jumped from the top step onto the frozen lawn below. Yes he was a good boy. His mother always taught him to be a good boy. Squeaker knew it was dangerous to play near the train tracks but he didn't considering coin altering playing. It was work to Squeaker, fun work because he considered himself a serious collector. Squeaker and his mother went to the tracks together several times when he first started collecting. She taught him how to be safe. She told him she trusted him to follow her rules. Squeaker always did.

Squeaker got to the train tracks at noon, just a few minutes before the Coastal Express left the station for Dibley on the Downs and Tamworth on Tide. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the bright shiny nickel. He searched the tracks for the perfect spot. The train’s whistle sounded from the station nearby. Squeaker put the nickel on the tracks and ran off to the old shed near the road. The train approached. Squeaker waved at the engineer. He waived back.
“How are you today Squeaker?” the engineer shouted over the engine. He pointed down to the track ahead. Squeaker gave him the thumbs up. The engineer returned the gesture and the train rolled ahead right over the nickel. Squeaker jumped up and down in excitement. He couldn’t wait to see this new addition.

Squeaker was as happy as punch. The nickel flattened perfectly. You could see just enough of the face making it very valuable indeed. Squeaker admired it as he walked home. He polished it over and over on his jacket. He stopped to pick up Bobby then the two of them spent the rest of the day playing video games and arranging and rearranging his coin collection.

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