Alexander Averin

Thursday, 3 July 2008


This is a piece of homework for my local writing group. The subject for June was 'The Toss of a Coin'

Coin of the Realm

A Story-of-Sorts in the Making

by Cait O'Connor

Any similarity to a child’s primary school composition is highly likely.

Warning. May contain cliches.

(The Beginning. Background to character).

I answer to the name of Lucre.

In polite circles I am a ‘medium of exchange‘.

Honest money, that’s me, I may not be precious metal like my ancestors who dressed in gold and silver and lived amongst treasure in luxurious surroundings.

I still belong to the ‘Ready’ gang.
OK, OK, I know I’m not in with the big papery gangs ‘The Notes’; I admit I’m only ‘Small Change’, but in the wealth stakes I am still pretty Hard Cash.

I’ve been around just as much as those Big Guys; I could tell you a tale or two, I’ve been in some sticky situations, ah the pockets, the purses I‘ve slept in…. Just don’t get me started that’s all.

I’m still a coin of the realm don’t you know? I come from the Royal Mint. Where do you come from eh? Anything Royal?

I thought not.

(Middle Bit. Stay with it),

I used to be given away quite a bit; I still am from time to time and when that happens I may end up in some charity collecting box or other. Only the kind and generous folk put me there though. But I don’t mind; I’m the same as them, I like to feel I am ‘doing good’. I’m never ever given to children any more though, there must be some dark reason, I know not what.

My dad, he was a Copper, no don’t laugh, it’s true, some folk called him a Penny but round these parts, where we woz minted, well we woz known as Coppers.

I have cousins who were Tanners and an Uncle Bob.

Well, we all have an Uncle Bob don’t we?

I’ve done my family tree (haven’t we all?)

My Grandad, well he was a Florin married to a Farthing and there are Sovereigns in my line, I’m sure of it.

At least I’m still genuine. What you get is what you see , there’s nothing counterfeit about me.

(Warning. Sad part coming up).

The times they are a changing…..

If I fall to the ground nowadays most folk will still see me lying face down in the dirt but now they just walk right past me. Once upon a time their faces would have lit up, they would have exclaimed joyfully and bent down to rescue me from some dark pavement.

Ah those were the days.

How cruel some people are.

Recently I’ve heard some people say that I and others like me, are worthless. I have to say that this really hurts and it’s made me feel that my life is without meaning. Debased and cheapened - that’s how it makes me feel.

(Happy ending?)

But life can still be worth living sometimes! The special days and it doesn’t happen often (but when it does I am known to shine once more). The treasured moments when I hear those three or four magic words from a human.

‘Lets toss for it’ or ‘Toss a coin’.

Then I feel mighty powerful and pretty superior if I’m honest, because none of the Big Guys hold this Special Power of mine.

What is this power, you may ask?

I can change the course of events in a pretty big fashion.

Just ask me, for example:

Do things your way or mine?

Become a scary monster or a handsome prince?

Live this end of the street or the other?

Write a story or a song?

Sleep under the stars or in a palace?

Become a gambler or abstain altogether?

Move to Wales or to Scotland?

Stay alive and go to the pub or commit suicide?

(Serious stuff).

Just watch me as I flip……..

Heads or tails anyone?

The choices in the last section relating to the tossing of the coin were the ones mentioned in the work submitted by the other members of our writing group (so far). Sort of private joke really so that explains why they may seem a little obscure.


Exmoorjane said...

That was lovely - very funny but had some real home truths in it too. I like the cheeky chappy persona of the coin - I could hear his voice. But oh yes, how sad it is that we don't bother anymore about small change. I was horrified when James was given a handful of coppers by an elderly relative and he rolled his eyes and gave them to me. Expect you can imagine what happened w hen I got him out the room!


Great post. Tomorrow I'm sure they will be tossing a coin at Wimbledon to start the Ladies Final. (Always use a double headed coin when the option of the Pub confronts you. The magic of supping a pint of Guiness is one of life's pleasures, methinks TFX

CAMILLA said...

Brilliant post Cait,

There is a large china pot on shelf where HL has the habit of putting coins in, counted it the other day and came to £15 in total, grandchildren were delighted with it.!


ed said...


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