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The 27th Fire: A Tale of Gold

TheGarbageManJul 6, 2018, 8:20:43 PM

A short and simple story this week. May you all receive all that you desire and that you pay the price required on such desires. I know I will.


Dumping the rocks and sand out of his black pan, the dirty prospector grabbed his shovel and got back to digging out the hard clay on the side of the creek shore.

“This is it”, he grumbled to himself, certain that no one was around to hear his ramblings. “This bank has it, I can feel it, you MOTHERFUCKER!”

“UCKER!, Ucker, ucker…” Came the echoed reply.

He often yelled. He liked the way it would echo off the canyon, deep in the wilderness where he had staked his claim. It was far back enough to where the fat-ass rangers wouldn’t go, and not far enough for the weed farmers to worry and murder him.

A few shovelfuls sifted in the sluice, red clay clouding up the water and then pulled downstream by the current. The flow of water diverted into the metal, ridged catches allowing the lighter minerals to fall into the piles of silt at the bottom.These sluice boxes were designed centuries ago to let the power of water and gravity to hold the most precious of treasures from drifting away.

Gold is heavy. If you’ve ever held it, you know that you’ve held it because of how much weight it has that you didn’t expect. It’s why people have long traded and lusted after it. It’s weight combined with its unfailable purity. No pressure on this planet can combine atoms into gold.

The pressure of a sun, blazing or dying, is needed to make such an element. All the Au that exists on this planet was never made on it. It truly is out of this world.

And the prospector was right there next to it in his mind. He’d been alone for too long, digging too deep, and making his passion the only reason he got up from his squatters camp every morning at first light. The gold.

He never once thought about investing his time into anything else. Well, at one time, he did. Once, he was just another name with an address. Job, wife, even some kids.But one day he went out with his car, his gear, and an idea of hitting the mother load.

That was, what? Twelve years ago.

The prospectors eyes widened in realization that today was just that, twelve years long in his search for a fucking shiny rock.


“AMN IT!, Amn it, amn it…” came the canyon back.

A big sigh came from his exhausted body. He was tired. Tired of being hunched over in this ever-flowing stream. But this was it, he felt it, heard it cry out to him. This bend hid the motherload.

Two or Three lifetimes ago, men with machines the width of the river and the size of a mansion dredged up the rocks and dirt, exposing millenia’s worth of gold nuggets and veins. The men who owned those machines were made rich enough to control the country, to pass laws to prevent anyone from attempting that sort of industrial ingenuity again.

So, here he was, digging up and down the shore line of this creek, miles of it by now, looking for flakes and nugs the dredge might have missed over a century ago.

If it was, he hadn’t found it. Until now.

His aged and chipped shovel hit a rock with an irregular pound. It felt soft, yet thick, like a melon with a hard shell cover.

He pulled back the shovel and saw a glow peeking out from the fresh cut into the stone.

The prospectors heart skipped beat after beat as he washed the exposed rock to reveal what it was, what he had been looking for all these years; his golden motherload.

His heart kept hurting and his muscles ached as he continued to uncover more and more of a gigantic node of solid gold, bigger than any he had seen in life or picture.

His body felt weaker, though solid adrenaline pumping through his ragged, weathered veins. His last few hours were spent uncovering the largest chunk of wild gold the world would never see.

He crawled to the top of his large motherload, larger than even his dreams had let him believe.

He started feeling so tired as he laid down on top of it, cradling it like a giant baby gorilla, cold to the core.

“So sleepy, but.. I can’t... fucking rest now…” the prospector mumbled off and died, succumbing to his fatal heart attack that started the moment he saw his golden destiny.

The rains came later, rising waters pushing the decayed corpse off and recovering that gleaming gold boulder in rocky silt and mud.