—Lyle Rosdahl“PINS” by J Jacen De la Garza It was a drive he had made a thousand times, in happier spirits. He kissed the girl he would marry there. He returned again, she by his side, but this time there was nothing to celebrate. I-37 South played out beneath them, as they travelled in silence. He would tell her they were losing everything that day, that life had proven too much to handle and it had dealt them a financial knockout, but she already knew this, and deep down he knew she did too. The trip was to finally acknowledge it to each other. For better or worse it had to be done. He knew she would stay, but he needed to know for sure, again she knew and she would tell him they would find a way. She would tell him that together they would make it, that she was down to the very end. A giant brown and white Texas State Park sign proclaimed they had reached their destination, the Padre Island National Seashore: P.I.N.S. 10 Miles The winding stretch of highway meandered through the dunes and grass flats to the beach. They would make camp and formulate a plan, amidst the soothing drone of the breaking surf the next move would be pondered. Afternoon melted into dusk and the wind had risen to a steady unrelenting bluster from far offshore in the deep blue water of the Gulf. He looked at the fire pit he dug when they arrived, it was far too shallow to shelter the kindling and small logs needed to build a fire that would reach far into the night. They needed that kind of fire. He grabbed a shovel and began making the fire pit deeper. The shovel blade balked and jumped out of his hands as it collided with something large beneath the sand. He stopped and tapped at it along the bottom of the pit. It ran the entire length of the newly turned sand. He dropped to his knees and cleared the top of the hidden object. The movement of his hands revealed a canvas sack, the stitching and yellowed fabric all but screamed the age of the find. She noticed his actions and walked over, he looked up at her and slowly opened the bag. He looked back up a her, speechless. A handwritten letter placed carefully atop a horde of gold coins impressed with the image of a castle and a lion. He didn’t know it but they were coins minted in Spain more than four hundred years before he drew his first breath. He read the letter: I amassed this wealth through the sin of murder and I must walk away, to do so I must leave this sum, the extent of my ill-gotten wealth to fate, and to you. I trust that you will need it. Do good with it, make this sinful trove do right. He looked at his wife and she knew what he felt, they would be ok.
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