It’s one of the most beautiful rocks I’ve ever seen.

              Imagine the Venus de Milo, but only from the tummy down to the ankle. And instead of one knee forward, both knees are up and parted, as of lying on her back. There are no separate legs but they are clearly defined in a big complete mass of rock, a sort of oval shaped rock bigger than my palm. It is rather hefty for a paper weight, but a nice addition to a desk or table top.

              I found it in the attic, within a small, ornate wood and brass box, with a note:

              “Sri Lanka – Moonstone”

“Use With Caution”


              Caution because it was fragile?

              The moonstone was solid and smooth and I bet I could throw it at something and it wouldn’t chip or scratch.

              Or maybe they were afraid I would use it to bash somebody’s head in; now that’s a caution!

              Smiling to myself at the absurdity, I removed it from the box. Such an intriguing rock deserves to be at my desk, at the place of honor besides my laptop. It’s just a piece of rock; surely it wouldn’t interfere electronically with the workings of the laptop.

Also, I like I having a piece of art that reminds me of the Louvre Museum.

              That night, after putting out the lights, I turned in to bed to sleep. The starlight was especially bright coming in through the window. Then I noticed something.

              Coming out from besides the laptop was a sort of glow.

It was coming from the moonstone!

              It wasn’t  luminescence. It  was less bright and softer. What was that word? Ah, Adularescence! The ghostly sheen caused by the scattering of light within the moonstone.

              I got up and came to the moonstone and marveled. I touched the moonstone, at all its parts. I marveled at its smoothness, it’s clinging, sensual texture. I could lose myself to contemplation just by its feel.

              Finally, after I don’t know how long, I went to bed and fell to sleep. And after a restful, dreamless, deep sleep, I woke up refreshed and happy.

I went to the office where I work.

I don’t know why I should feel this way: we have loads of work, we have to prepare for our annual individual personnel evaluation, my supervisor seems to hate me, my colleagues doesn’t seem to want to talk to me, I don’t get invited to our after-office gatherings, and yet instead of being pressured I felt happy, and my mood was high.

              I couldn’t help smiling. Not the usual corporate-face smile which we put on automatically when we get to the office or when we meet with a client, but a genuine, from-the-heart smile.

              I greeted the security guards and the maintenance staff “Good Morning!” I nodded to my colleagues. I smiled at my supervisors. And if anybody said “Good Morning!” first to me,  I responded with “Good Morning…!” with his or her name, or ending with a confident “Boss”, “Sir”, or “Ma’am!” to my superiors.

              Some give a look of surprise. I could see people give a small shake of their heads as they went away, as if in disbelief. My superiors would pause momentarily, as if wondering what in the world is going on and go ahead to their rooms.

Somehow they knew that I was not in the mood for my usual servile or obsequious manner. Not anymore.

But my smile told them that I will be cooperative. And so I did cooperate and took charge, and even helped some of my colleagues with their work problems.

              It became my unconscious manner to touch the moonstone when I’m thinking or having a pause in my work back home at my desk. At night, after turning out the lights I would again marvel and contemplate the moonstone, feeling its sensual texture before going to bed and having a restful sleep.

              I thought of bringing the moonstone to work like the others in our office, but I felt a strong reluctance in me, as if somebody was telling me not to do it, so I didn’t. I was happy with the feeling of being welcomed whenever I get home to my room.

              One day, after I was home and working at my desk, a guy from the office called and invited me for a drink with the boys. I said “wait” and pulled out my wallet. I knew I needed at least a hundred dollars to go out for some fun, but remembered I forgot to put some cash in my wallet, and I felt certain my wallet had only about 50 dollars inside.

              So I counted out the ten-dollar bills.

              One. Two. Something felt like a bill was stuck with the second bill. I separated it and it was another bill. Three, Four, another stuck bill. Five, Six, Seven. Another stuck bill. Eight. Another stuck bill. Nine, Ten. A hundred bucks!

              I was so happy that I actually had the cash all along; I said I would be coming. A night out with the boys was becoming a rare thing, especially the last few weeks. Was this a sign of my future in the company?

I didn’t care. I had a grand time enjoying with the boys. As expected, the strip show came on, and I stuck around a bit for the show but feeling sleepy I took advantage of some of the boys’ going home and went with them. The die-hards stayed much later with the girls.

              I went directly home to sleep, not even removing my pants.

              It was only later I wondered about the multiplying ten-dollar bills. By that time, my work load seems easier to handle. The evaluation went well, and I was given a raise. My colleagues started to be friendly and we men would tell jokes at the water cooler. The women seem to smile and brighten up when I talk to them. My superiors would say “Good Morning!” to me first, or at least show a smile when they see me. My future with the company seems bright.

              Later, I noticed that the phenomena of the multiplying bills would occur, but only when I’m near the moonstone. I didn’t tell anybody, of course, but I experimented.

With my new-found source of money I bought a bike. I bought a new phone. New luggage. Paid Vacations. Tools for woodworking and electronics. And lots of dates with beautiful women.

              I tried it with Thousand-Dollar bills and it still worked.

              I have a treasure chest, where money comes out when I want it to. And with the money came pride, the destructive kind.

              I became self-centered. A braggart. Arrogant. I felt I could get away with anything. And I often did.

              This is the usual effect of big money coupled with small minds.      

              I forgot the moonstone. It became superficial. I no longer touched it.


              Then one day, a few months later, things happened.

A colleague insulted me. My supervisor scolded me for work I forgot to do. Women no longer called me for dates. When I call, they had excuses. My evaluation went poorly, and I lost a bonus. I started to drink more.

              Feeling I had to take a break from the stress, I pulled my wallet out to see how much money I had. I was thinking of another drinking session.

              It was empty.

              I couldn’t believe it!

              I withdrew money from my bank. And filled the wallet.

              That evening, I pulled my wallet out to see how much I put in that morning.


              Feeling frustrated I checked everything. My bills. My bank transactions. Everything was okay. But the money was lost, somehow. My wallet, empty.

              That night, without being able to go out, I was in bed, thinking things over.

              The starlight was especially bright coming in through the window.

              I looked at the moonstone besides my new laptop. No moonglow.

              I stood up, put on the lights, and looked at it.

              It was covered with dust, so much that there was no light reaching the moonstone itself. No adularescence.

              I understood now. The moonstone represented my life. It needed attention. It needed periodic cleaning. And touching.

              I didn’t wait until the next morning. I immediately cleaned the moonstone. After cleaning the moonstone I touched it, and again marveled at its smoothness, it’s clinging, sensual texture. And again felt that mood of contemplation.

              It took some time, another few months, but everything came back. And the money, too. What did they say, being older and wiser? It really came to that.

I didn’t get back at the guy who insulted me. The next evaluation improved my ranking. My supervisors again smiled at me. My colleagues, both men and women, again started to call for me.


              I now know the real meaning of the note in the ornate wood and brass box. The principle is applicable to both the moonstone, and life:

              Use With Caution


May 29, 2020 09:44

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14:17 Jun 04, 2020

I love your writing. Neat!. Halfway into the story I was imagining what the moonstone represents


Ted Villamarzo
09:29 Jun 05, 2020

Thanks! I know that curiosity is also good for storytelling.


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Crystal Lewis
17:09 Jun 02, 2020

Ooh yes I would love that moonstone. I wouldn’t be neglecting that! Your writing is good. Very clean and to the point.


Ted Villamarzo
10:14 Jun 04, 2020

It's a bit of every man's dream. Thank you for your comments, they are very encouraging.


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Iris Koga
18:55 May 29, 2020

Fun read! I want that moonstone! Great pacing in the story, I like the part where he found all the money in his wallet 😂


Ted Villamarzo
10:17 Jun 04, 2020

Thanks for your encouraging coment! I wish this were true, finding money!


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