“I think I found it.”
They had been looking for the geocache for 15 minutes when Paul heard Angie call out.
She had already begun to dig around a large rock that was wedged between the ground and the roots of an old tree.
Kneeling down, he began to pull on the rock as she continued to dig underneath it. After a moment, Paul was able to wrench the rock free. Setting it aside, he began to dig into the dirt.
Finally, Paul’s fingers felt cold metal, and with an excited yelp, he wiggled the cache free.
It was an old cash box that looked like it was more rust than metal. Paul flicked it open.
The first thing that Paul saw was an old yellowed piece of paper, but that wasn’t what had caused Angie so much astonishment.
Underneath the paper, there was money, a lot of money, all rolled into fat cylinders and bound with rubber bands.
As Paul picked one up, the rubber band disintegrated and the cylinder uncoiled slowly. He could see that they were all 100-dollar bills.
Angie had grabbed the yellowed paper and was looking at it. As she read her brow furrowed.
“Read this, Paul.”
He put the box down on the ground and took the paper into his hands. The short message was written in pencil, which had faded with time but was still legible.
*Tried to take money, but didn’t know - needed to leave something - Price too high - Not worth it*
“Oooooh, spooky,” Paul snorted.
“C’mon, Paul. That's seriously fucked up.”
“It’s a joke. Someone is just trying to mess with people.” He tried, but couldn’t hide the feeling of unease that was now beginning to overtake him.
It was as if someone had cracked a cold egg it in the pit of his stomach, and the icy ooze was spreading throughout his body.
“It’s a lot of money. We should just take it.” Angie didn’t sound very confident.
“Yeah, yeah... I don’t care what some asshole says anyway,” Paul got up, making sure to help Angie to her feet. She turned towards the way that they had come.
They were deep in the woods, but they could get back to their car in an hour if they kept up a good pace. She bent over to pick up the box.
“This is crazy, who just leaves a box of," but before she finished her thought, the rock came down on the back of her head. She crumpled to the ground.
The box fell open, bundles of money rolling outward.
Paul brought the rock down six more times before he was satisfied that she wouldn’t be getting back up.
He felt the cold disappear from the pit of his stomach as he calmly gathered the money and put it back into the box.
After all, like the note said, if he was going to take the cache, he needed to leave something behind.