A/N: I'm not gonna lie; this prompt was way more challenging than I thought. For me, fortune was a tough word. I didn't immediately have an idea or sense of direction. So inevitably, shit got weird. Even though the below story says otherwise, this was a legitimate way I made a lot of money playing this game. Save the Homeland had a lot of weird mechanics. Anywho, enjoy this story about a man going crazy. Thanks for reading!
This farming gig was a rip off. He'd been out in the hot sun for three whole days now, and Tony couldn't see any hope in this being a lasting plan. It was doomed for failure from the start.
Tony didn't really know his grandfather. He had heard stories about him, and he sounded like the typical, crotchety sort of geezer who was totally out of touch with society. He hated technology and toothpaste and all of the decent things Tony grew up with, so he always thought his grandfather was a weirdo. He lived out in the boonies and didn't even own a phone. He virtually cut himself off from his family, so it was no surprise they were the last to know when the old man kicked the bucket. Someone needed to go out and pick up his shit and being his grandson who was also in need of an excuse to unsuspiciously skip town after that dodgy back alley deal went bad, Tony was the prime candidate to hide out at – er – take up the family farm. Tony thought he could do it for awhile. Pfft. How hard could it be?
REALLY HARD, APPARENTLY.
The sun blared down like a horrible, hot spotlight from where he sat amongst his piles of unburied seeds he haphazardly scattered on the ground. His fields were empty, and not a chicken clucked nor cow mooed for miles. But to heck with that – Tony couldn't be trusted caring for animals. He had to, like, remember to feed them and stuff? That was way too much effort. Tony wasn't cut out for that responsibility. The hamster he had in first grade could attest to that. Key word, had.
No horse in the stable, no dog in the house, no crops growing high. Just greenhorn Tony. He looked out over the hopeless plot of dry land with a sigh, turning his groovy, city boy hat backwards to keep a shred of his superficial identity. He spat for no reason and stood to hike up his pants. He made up his mind.
"Alright, so… maybe I ain't the farmin' type."
The echo of the empty farm agreed with him.
Tony snorted and pointed menacingly at his seed piles. "But you're gonna grow and feed me if it's the last thing I do!"
When the seeds didn't answer him, he got on all fours and peered at them from a low angle. He learned intimidation worked at eye level. "What more do you want from me?! Ya got water, ya got dirt, and I'm clean out of time. Do something! Help a guy out, man; I've been livin' on well water and those mushrooms behind the shed I get from those weird little people in tiny colored robes – I don't even know what's real anymore."
Tony took a deep breath. He needed to take a step back. He face planted and made dirt angels to distract himself from the hunger pangs as he tried to formulate an idea. He supposed to could bum some food off of the locals, but they'd probably be as nutty as his late grandfather, so the more distance the better. Besides, Tony didn't like begging. He had pride.
So maybe he'd just take it. Become a villain. Get to know their schedules in the day, break in from windows in the dead of night, keep a low profile, be on the lam, always have an eye over his shoulder. Owe the loan sharks more than he could afford and have to pinch money off of the girls he swindled into working late nights for him. Keep a screwdriver in his coat pocket because he'd never know when it might come in handy when Jeffrey reneges on the deal and gets scared of the feds, but that'll land them both in hot water with the father if they don't pay up.
"No. Not again," he determined, curling his fist. He sat up and dusted off his gloves. And just like that, it struck him. "That's it! Ya put the seeds down, put dirt on top, and then water 'em – I gotta dig! That solves everything!"
Tony sprang to his feet and whipped out a four-foot hoe from his jeans pocket. "Prepare to be eaten, corn!"
This, of course, was completely disregarding the three-month window it takes for corn to germinate.
With renewed gusto, Tony slammed the head of the hoe to the dirt and created a nasty gash. Every swing opened the wound bigger and bigger in the earth until he was on full tilt and had shaped a sizeable hole. Tony's lungs deflated like overstretched balloons as he flopped back and looked over his hard work.
A glint caught the sun's rays coming from over his shoulders, and Tony tilted his head at his own shadow at his feet. The object was wedged in the fertile ground beside his seeds only a few inches down. The rounded edge sparked his interest. Did he just find buried pirate treasure…? In the sticks?!
Tony stooped down and dislodged the coin, turning it over in his palm and inspecting it. He rubbed the dirt away from the branding. A ten-gold piece. He pocketed it. "Huh. Must be my lucky day!"
He continued to dig even though he had dug plenty enough already. Tony completely eradicated his 2x4 plot as he found purpose in the monotonous rise and fall of the hoe hitting the ground and pulling up the dirt. It wasn't long before he found another coin. And then another. He picked up the third and glared at it.
"Who the hell just leaves pocket change in the dirt? How old is this?!" But no matter how many times he turned the coins, he could only make out a faint, vague G. Instinct alone told him it was worth 10 of anything. He clenched them in his fist. "Even though granddad was a kook who was scared of the government, nobody leaves cold hard cash lyin' in the ground. I mean, he woulda put it in a tin at least. What else is buried out here?"
Tony would soon find out. As he continued to dig, more and more things unearthed themselves from the depths of his fields. Rocks and minerals of all shapes and sizes from copper to limestone and much more pocket change. For the first time since he got the farm, Tony was actually enjoying himself as he uncovered the secrets buried in his backyard. And hey, it was all fun and games until he found a body, so he figured he might as well knock himself out until that point when he'd tell the cops, uh, no he'd never met a Janet.
"Hellooooo, is that a perfectly cut octahedron I see?" He struck something particularly shiny sounding, and he hefted up the strangely formed ore. True to form, it was a chunk of rare metal he knew he could sell for a nice price. And it was just sitting out here in his field going to waste all this time. Digging was profitable procrastination! Hooray!
"What kind of weird, beheaded doll…?! Oh, it's a root! It's a root," Tony said with relief, looking at the stiff plant in his hand. After a quick glance left and right, he ate it with a shrug and continued to work.
Another clunk, and his hoe reverberated against a heavy rock. It shone bright electric blue in the afternoon. Tony licked it, wondering if it was radioactive because that's how to tell if something was radioactive. It seemed okay, but the color was off-putting. "That… can't be natural."
Hours passed, and Tony found more coins and many more of the blue rocks. He felt reinvigorated when his hoe caught a white crystal. He leaned on his tool with his elbow as he perused his cell phone for answers to what it could be. "Okay, Google says this forms in moonlight, so how the hell did I find this ten feet under my corn – oh my god, I'm ten feet under my corn; how the hell did that happen."
Tony squinted up at the sky overhead and could see nothing else. On all sides were walls of dirt he had created as he inched further and further down finding weightless treasures to fill his pockets with. He hadn't realized he had gotten so far, but he couldn't quit now! He was turning a massive profit. Flowerbud City and stupid Jeffrey be damned – Tony was turning over a new leaf! He'd hide out here forever making bank on this untapped treasure trove of a mine and live the easy life. He began to laugh maniacally at his good luck. He was eating his fill at the bar tonight. This was worth a fortune! He lifted his hoe over his head and danced with it in celebration. "I'm a gazillionaire!"
"I told ya the new kid wouldn't last a week," Gwen smirked, digging her elbow into her companion's side as they watched the farmer yelling incoherently and holding up clumps of dirt to the sun like they were gemstones. He was clearly off his gourd on shrooms as he giggled to himself and stuffed his pants with dirt.
Bob made a discontented 'hrmph' in response but paid up anyways. She caught the gold piece, which was unlike Tony's because it was real, with a victorious chuckle. He shook his head. Bob should've known better than to put his money on a rookie. City slickers just didn't last in these parts.