Local Hero (482 words)

Pat trudged across the muddy field, swinging his left arm to and fro in a monotonous arc. It had been three long years since the Brownhills Hoard had been found. Three long, miserable years and he hadn't found a fucking thing.

He would have given up a long time ago, the wife would have loved that. She would have taken great joy in putting the metal detector in the loft alongside the telescope, the radio controlled aeroplane, the slot cars, the tap shoes , the crossbow and the countless other hobbies he had taken up and abandoned over the years.

Lost in his own miserable world he missed the first beep, almost missed the second, he definitely heard the third. He stopped trudging and swung the detector back over the patch of grass, it pinged again and a smile slid across his face.

"Pat Pickerell local archaeologist" He muttered to himself already writing his own headlines in the local rag.

He started digging  with the little trowel he bought off the internet. He wasn't entirely sure what the difference was between this and the one his wife had got from the garden centre but it cost a hell of a lot more so it must be better.

He soon spied a sparkling in the filth. He put the trowel away and fished the paint brush out of his coat pocket and dusts the dirt off like he saw on Time Team.

Eventually he saw a band of gold set with a large ruby.

"Pat Pickerell local treasure hunter." He said to himself, trying yet another headline on for size.

He tugged at the ring, there was a loud snap but then it was free and in his hand.

His first thought was that a root had grown through the ring, his second was that the root had a knuckle. Realisation dawned and he let out a decidedly girly scream and flung his new found riches away.

"This could still work out yet." He pondered to himself. "Local hero Pat Pickerell ..."

He spent a few minutes trying to find the finger and the ring. The sparkle catches his eye again and the inner magpie kicked in.

"Got to worth a bit that." He said, talking himself out of doing the noble thing.

"No one knows she is here." The devil on his shoulder said.

"Give Dai Diamond a call." Whispered the other.

Decision made, me pocketed the ring, minus the finger, covered his excavations and headed home.

The metal detector was soon in the loft along with the rest of his hopes and dreams, Pat did ring Dai Diamond who gave him a very good price. It was when Dai tried to move it on himself it all started to go wrong. Pat did make the headlines of the local rag, just not in the fashion he dreamed of.

"Pat Pickerell local grave robber."

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