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The Time Stopping Coin

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Mick finds a coin one day after school and only when the school bully tries to take it from Mick, determined to have it for himself, does Mick realise the coin's true potential.

Humor / Fantasy
Laura M Devlin
Age Rating:

A Short Story

It was after school one cold February afternoon that Mick Devlin found the magic coin. Of course, he had no idea what it was or what it could do, and in fact, it was by pure luck that he even found it in the first place because the ground was covered in a thick blanket of snow that day.

Mick was 9 years old and tall for his age. Though he was quite skinny, even a bit gangly, he didn’t mind it because his long limbs made it easier for to jump the highest off the swing set than any other kid on the playground. Which is exactly what he was doing when the coin appeared.

The silver coin, shaped similarly to a 50 pence piece, had glistened in the light cast by the fading afternoon sun. And Mick, as the sun hit the flat surface of the coin, had just propelled himself off his favourite swing into the clear blue sky and luckily caught sight of the twinkling coin as he was airborne. After 10 well-paced, strong swings, Mick had landed further away from the swing set than he ever had before but, rather than celebrate, he doubled back to the frame.

On top of the snow, as though it had just fallen out of his pocket, sat the little coin. He picked it up, and instead of Queen Elizabeth’s face staring back at him, Mick saw that the face of a clock was etched there instead. He frowned, puzzled.

“Cool.” He muttered.

“Yo! Specky four-eyes! What did you find there? Give it here.”

Mick closed his fingers tightly over the coin immediately, knowing too well the voice of the school bully.

“Nothing. Just a wrapper that fell out of my pocket.”

“Yeah sure. Looked like money to me.” Stu Laverty stood at the other side of the swing set. The play park was opposite their school and full of kids waiting for their parents or just hanging out before heading home. Stu was tall and broad with bright red hair and a freckly face. He was two years older than Mick and fond of torturing the younger students when the teachers weren’t looking.

“Open your hand before I make you. If it’s what I think it is and you’ve lied to me … well, you’re in for it.” Stu grinned menacingly, cracking his knuckles.

Without much thought, Mick dashed towards the park gate. He heard Stu’s thunderous steps behind him, and panic coursed through his body as he fought the urge to start yelling. Within meters of the gate, Mick’s feet suddenly slipped and slid beneath him on black ice. His hands flew out to break his fall as he toppled into the snow and he watched in dismay as the coin flew up into the air, twirling and spinning. He heard Stu’s triumphant laugh … and then everything went silent …

At first Mick thought the snow had gotten into his ears but, when he got to his feet again and shook his head, he realised his hearing wasn’t the problem. Then, thinking there was something wrong with his eyes, he took off his glasses and wiped them clean of snow on his damp jacket. His eyes weren’t the problem either.

Everyone around him, including Stu, was frozen. As if someone had hit “pause”. The park was full of human statues, and it was a sight to behold! Stu was mid-run, having been close on Mick's heels. A little girl who had been playing on the slide was stalled halfway down it, a huge smile on her face. A woman with a phone pressed to her ear was sitting on a bench with an angry look stuck on her face. A dog had its leg lifted permanently against a tree and beyond the gate, a group of school kids were glued to the spot as they attempted to board a bus. Every single one of them was stock still.

Mick stood flabbergasted. He spun around, his eyes unable to take in and comprehend everything he was seeing. He yelled out but no one paid him any attention. No one moved. No one heard him.

Mind racing, Mick thought back to what had happened and recalled the coin. The clock face. Was it perhaps connected? Given that time seemed to have stopped, Mick figured anything was possible now. He found the coin after a frantic search through the snow and examined it closely. The time displayed was 3.45. Mick checked the time on his wristwatch - 3.45. Could the coin tell time? Mick shook his head in disbelief before turning it over to study the back. It was blank.

“Time on one side … nothing on the other,” said Mick thoughtfully. “I accidentally tossed it in the air … hmm …”

Musing over the possibilities of a time-stopping coin, Mick thought he’d test out this newfound power. He pocketed the coin carefully, and then scooped up a handful of snow. He quickly formed a snowball and threw it directly at Stu. It glided slowly towards Stu’s freckled face – caught mid-laugh – before stopping. It stayed suspended in mid-air and Mick grinned.

Time to test out another theory.

Making sure he was on the other side of the gate and hidden well out of sight, Mick took the coin into his palm … and flipped it.

Sound and movement erupted around him. Mick watched with delight as his snowball collided with Stu’s face. He burst into a fit of giggles as a startled Stu squealed and then gawked around, open-mouthed, trying to figure out what had happened. Stu studied the ground where Mick had fallen, and Mick doubled over with fresh giggles.

“That oaf thinks I’ve vanished into the ground!”

Mick beamed down at the time-stopping coin and a plethora of amazing possibilities flooded his mind. He pocketed it again carefully and began his walk home, confident that the fun was just beginning.

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