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Treasures Found in Garbage Cans

What Do They Hold?
What Do They Hold?

Ronald Tillberg really enjoyed driving the big green garbage truck. Managing the multiple gears it featured gave him a feeling of authority. Sometimes he shifted through the gears just to hear and feel the surge they imparted to the mammoth vehicle. Residents would stare as he drove slowly and noisily along the street.

Today, Ronald came late to Elm Street. A school bus had delayed him. To make up time, he swung garbage containers around like empty coffee cans, hastily dumping the contents into the hopper. This left little opportunity for him to check among the throw-away stuff for goodies.

Ronald always kept a garbage can near the rear of the truck to hold valuable items he found. It amazed him, the perfectly good things people threw away: radios, business suits, tools, toys ... once he had rescued a perfectly good saddle for a child's pony.

Ronald almost missed the goodies in a can halfway down the street. As he emptied it, three articles caught his eye: a blue dress and a new pair of women's shoes. Ronald gathered them up and dropped them in his goodies can. He thought they would fit his girlfriend Rosaline. They would need a good cleaning, though; the dress had a small stain.

The find cheered Ronald enough for him to burst vigorously into his garbage day song.

It's Garbage Day, Garbage Day!
What you have to throw away,
I'll pick up without delay.
It's Garbage Day, Garbage Day!

As Ronald drove the big green truck along Elm Street, he noticed something odd at one of the houses.

He could hardly wait to show the dress and the shoes to Rosaline. He had no idea, of course, that she would refuse even to touch them.

"Where did you get these?" Rosaline demanded when Ronald displayed his findings to her.

"On Elm Street, I think. Why?"

"That's blood on the shoes! And look at the red stain on the dress! What address on Elm Street?"

Ronald took a few minutes to come up with the answer. He watched, puzzled, as Rosaline dialed 911 on her cell phone and recited the address. A policeman came to talk to them and Ronald had to tell him all about the shoes and the dress. He thought the policeman might arrest him for stealing them. But the officer went away, taking the shoes and dress in a plastic bag.

The following Friday, as Ronald drove the big green truck along Elm Street, he noticed something odd at one of the houses. No garbage can waited at the curb, but a yellow plastic ribbon encircled the entire lot.

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Jodah profile image

Jodah 5 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

Great flash fiction here with a surprise ending. Good work Copper Man.

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