Here's another original story by Jeff B for your enjoyment.
"What on Earth is this" he wondered? "No it can't be", but it was, right there in plain sight with no one else around it. As he knelt down to get a closer look he felt a strange sense of mystery and excitement rush over him. "Nay, this is some kind of joke", he muttered to himself. Probably one of those hidden camera shows he'd seen on TV as a kid he figured. On the other hand, maybe it was just his turn to have some good luck for a change.
He grabbed the loose bills that had worked their way out of the large green army duffel lying on the street before him. Holding the canvas handle on one side and working the zipper with his free hand he could hardly believe his eyes when he looked inside. Cash, and lots of it filled the bag, which appeared to be abandoned. Reaching in he shuffled neatly bundled denominations of currency from one side to the other all the while looking up and around at his surroundings like a prairie dog on the plains searching for a waiting predator.
Cars drove past and people walked to their destinations barely giving a glance in his direction. Certainly no one sprang out from behind a tree and exclaimed, "Smile, your on candid..." No, this was real and as he began to accept that fact his mind started to race with all sorts of thoughts. First and foremost, whose bag full of cash was this and how did it come to its resting place? Surely it had fallen out of someone's car as they made the turn onto 49th street, but considering how cold it was outside who'd be driving around with a window open. Besides, a bag that size doesn't just slip out from under your nose without notice. Something else that didn't make sense was that anyone caring this much money around would certainly be consciences of its whereabouts at all times. One other thing, who carries that kind of cash around anyway?
"Drug dealers." he reasoned, "They're the only ones who'd have that much money in a nondescript bag like this." He knew it didn't belong to a bank, otherwise it would have been in an official looking bag and the bundles inside wouldn't be bound with rubber bands, instead they'd have those printed-paper wrappers around them. No this was not 'honest' money, it couldn't be.
Suddenly he felt his breathing become shallow and his pulse quicken. What if it did belong to drug dealers or may robbers who'd be coming back any minute now to look for it? What if they found him with it? He could feel the sweat forming on his forehead as his mind pictured what would happen if they saw him with their loot. "Their loot" he thought? "How could they call it theirs if they hadn't earned it legally?" Legal or not, he knew that wouldn't matter if they found him with their bag in his hands.
Without further hesitation he scooped up the bag and walked just under the pace of a run to his nearby Jeep. Tossing the bag into the seat and loosely covering it with a jacket he turned over the engine and quickly sped away. His heart was pounding so hard now he could feel its every beat inside his chest. "I can't drive home." he thought, "What if they saw me and are following me?" His eyes scanned all the rear view mirrors and he cautiously looked from side to side at the other drivers as they passed one another. Nothing though, no one was following or watching, but just in case he decided to drive to the police station where he'd feel safer.
He pulled up and parked near enough to feel secure, but far enough away so as not to be too obvious. He sat there nearly frozen somewhere between fear and exhilaration. "Now what?" he contemplated, "I should just walk in and turn this into the cops. That'd be the right thing to do wouldn't it? But what if they think I stole it? No one just walks in with a bag full of money and declares, "You're never gonna believe this, but I just found this on the street." They'd arrest me, lock me up and sort out the details later. Nay, that sort of stuff only happens in the movies...right?"
"I could just keep it for a while." he began to think. "Yeah, that's what I'll do. If someone legitimately reports it missing I can always turn it in at that point." As he started to rationalize this new way of thinking he could feel his body start to relax a bit, but that was far from what his mind was doing.
Realizing he was safe and that no one had tailed him he decided to put the Jeep in gear and head for home. Now thoughts of 'What if?' started to occupy him. "What if no one claims it" became his focus, "and how much was in there?" he wondered. Mentally picturing how many bundles he'd seen earlier he tried to calculate what the net worth of his discovery would be. Try as he might though, it was impossible to come up with any sort of number that seemed reasonable.
Twenty-five minutes after leaving the police station he'd stopped at, and nearly an hour and a half since the whole whirl wind ordeal began, he pulled into the driveway of his suburban home. With a deep sigh of relief he was more than ready to get inside. A quick survey of the neighbor's yards showed no signs of activity. "Great, I can get to the front door undetected." he thought. With the coat still draped over the duffel he made a b-line to the front door, unlocked it and slipped inside. Upon entering he immediately bolted it behind him.
Now it was time to find out just how much was in the green bag he'd retrieved. He raced to the top of the stairs, made a quick left and went to the end of the hallway where his bedroom was. As he poured out the contents onto his unmade bed he noticed he'd forgotten to zip up the bag earlier. In his haste he had just grabbed it and ran. "Did any of it fall out?" he wondered. "Who cares?" he heard a small voice say, "There's plenty left anyway." That was quite the understatement, because as he looked at the pile on his bed he could barely believe his eyes. He knew there'd be a substantial amount of cash, but even this surpassed what his imagination had conjured up. The majority of the bundles were hundreds, with a smattering of fifties and twenties, nothing smaller could be found. After counting it and recounting it again he came to the conclusion that there was well over $500,000 sitting there.
How could he use that much tax-free money? His imagination wandered from exotic trips to luxury cars. As much as he'd like to pay off his house with it he knew that wouldn't be possible without raising suspicion. For the next several days, 'what to do with it all', seemed to occupy all his waking moments. He tried to maintain a sense of normalcy with his everyday activities, but found it increasingly difficult as the days went past. The guilt of carrying this enormous secrete around was starting to wear on him. Nearly a week had gone by and he hadn't told another sole. "I've got to get this off my chest." he thought, "there must be someone I can tell." Just then as he was about to take another bite of his turkey club sandwich he overheard two guys in the booth next to his say something that would change everything.
To be continued...