The Life Of A Dollar Bill (A Short Story)

Tanya Lee, 8th Grader || 11.15.18


  When I was born, they told me that I was worthless. That there were billions just like me out there, that I was nothing. They said, “Francis, you’ll never stand out.” I was literally, just a dollar bill.

   I was born in Washington D.C. right in the midst of a group of thugs. They covered my body in ink, to the point where I could barely see my own skin. I was given no choice: my loyalty to the United States was decided in the blink of an eye. After all, when they put images of the American seal and George Washington on your body, it’s difficult to deny otherwise. And my place in the world would forever be on the bottom: it was impossible to erase the glaringly large “ones” all over my body. This was my future: I, Francis would be neglected for the rest of my life. I would never settle down with a proper family: I would be forever traveling, forever moving. After all, nobody cared about a measly dollar bill.

   A little while after I was born, I found myself in the pocket of a wealthy man. I don’t even know why he adopted me: I was neatly placed in a designer wallet, and normally, this would be a luxury. But I didn’t belong there: the wrinkles and spots of age already dotted my body, and stains dotted my skin from my previous owner, who had a tendency to handle currency with dirty hands. I hated it there: my roommates were clean and crisp, having never suffered the ordeal of living inthe streets. Andrew was a twenty, and he was the only one who cared about me, having been in the hands of scumbags before. Ulysses and Benjamin were the worst. Benjamin constantly bullied me, and Ulysses was his little puppy dog who did all the dirty work. They relentlessly teased me about my monetary value, and I suffered.

   One day, I was lifted out of my home. I was placed on a counter, and for once, I was finally free from the oppressing opinions of my roommates. But too soon, I was picked up again and put in a strange capsule. The space was long enough for me to finally stretch my cramped back and lie flat, but the walls were extremely high. All of a sudden, I felt a crushing weight on my stomach, and for the first time, I noticed the dead bodies of other dollar bills beneath me. I struggled, but the plastic clamp crushed me into the bodies, and I was engulfed by darkness. Panicking, I did everything I could to escape, but my efforts were futile. I had heard of this place. No matter how valuable you were, you suffered the same fate. This was the place where bills came to die: the cash register. Every day of our lives, we dreaded coming to this place. There was no escape: the moment you were put in the cash register, you were a dead bill walking. I knew, as all bills knew: I was doomed. This, would be my grave.