The title of Six Shiny Silver Coins and the Ridiculous Ruckus They Caused by Emily Martha Sorensen is almost longer than the short story itself. This is Book One in a two-novel series: The Numbers Just Keep Getting Bigger Book 1. The Amazon price is USD 0.99. Book Two, Twenty-Four Potential Children of Prophecy is 113 pages with an Amazon price of USD 3.99.
Henina is a terror to go shopping with in a system that bases its prices on bargaining. It is like having a back-seat driver correcting you all the time. But she is quick at math as we discover in the opening pages of this short story. This irritates Mom so Henina leaves her mother and visits the central square to find it is Prophecy Day. Henina feels Prophecy Day is completely and totally boring so is surprised to see lightning strike a spire of the castle followed by all the soothsayers and prophets screaming a prophecy in unison. The king will perform an act of generosity before the sun sets that day. Worried about what might happen during the day, the king decides to get the prophecy over with and tosses six silver coins into the crowd, one coin at a time.
Of course, the crowd goes wild and since the coins are dispensed one at a time, the ‘lucky” person to catch one is immediately attacked by everyone else in the crowd. Henina manages to escape but then must deal with her mother and father, parents in a family dedicated to stealing, altering the items stolen, and reselling the products at a profit. The family employs gangs of street urchins to help with the thefts. Mom, Dad, and various friends think Henina should share the coin she caught. Henina disagrees. She doesn’t believe in altruism. This is a fairly complex word for a beggar but Henina is educated. Her family considers it a complete waste of time and effort that Henina can read. Henina is determined to use the coin as she sees fit. What will she use the coin for? Read this short story to find out. Most readers of this short story will approve of the ending.
Sorensen uses Henina as the vehicle for delivering understated and clever humor very effectively. I liked the writing style and gave five Amazon stars to this very short story. I will read longer works by this author. This is a clean and well-crafted story suitable for YA and amusing for all ages. Unsurprisingly, there is a positive moral to the story.