old suitcase sitting on a wooden dock

Old Man Sells Shabby Suitcase, Everyone Ignores Him except Lame Boy Who Agrees to Buy It — A Short Story

In this story which was inspired by the readers at AmoMama, a boy’s act of kindness towards an old, shabby man, ended up being the best decision he’s ever made.

Mason was not very well off, he’d been left as the man of the house after his father passed away a year ago. Now, his mother was ill too, and Mason had no choice but to look after her. He had no siblings to help him at all. To make matters worse, Mason was disabled after a freak motorbike accident. What this meant for Mason was his dreams of attending university on a football scholarship were nil, and now he worked two jobs just to support his mother and himself.

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Mason worked very hard and earned very little money, finding a good job when you are in a wheelchair is even more difficult. But, Mason had one thing left that brought him some joy. Once a week, he would visit a local boot sale market and spend $5 on old tapes with music from the 70s and 80s.

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A Hard Week

One particular week, Mason had worked harder than ever, but the medical bills kept flying in. He knew that his weekly meander around the market was a bad idea because he did not even have $5 to spend, but Mason went anyway.

Mason’s mother, even though her son worked hard to keep food on the table, was not happy that he had dropped out of school. But, there was no way Mason could afford it. That Sunday morning, another argument between the two of them broke out. And Mason stormed off on his wheelchair to visit the market and getaway. The boot sale market was his only safe haven, the only place he felt a bit of happiness in his sad life. His problems completely dissolved as he looked around at all the old stuff, especially when looking through all the old music tapes. His father loved music, and it made Mason remember him.

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The Market

Mason arrived at the market and strolled around. It was a lovely day, the entire place was busier than normal. He wished he could afford a hotdog as the smells from the food vendors filled the air. He made his way to his favourite vendor, a man who sold the old tapes he so adored.

While looking through the tapes, an old, shabby-looking man set up a blanket on the ground, he put out some bags and suitcases and put a crate down to use as a chair.

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Suitcases, bags, and briefcases!” he cried in his old cracked voice, “Five dollars apiece, best bargain of your life!

vintage Suitcase
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Sadly, nobody was interested in the old man’s suitcases, they were falling apart and covered in mildew.

Mason could not help but feel intrigued, so he stopped looking through the CDs and rolled his wheelchair over to the old man. Mason asked the man how he ever thought he could sell bags in such a poor condition. The Man replied simply that these suitcases were filled with hope. For the right person, one of his suitcases would be a dream come true.

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One Mans Trash, Another Mans Treasure

Mason smiled at the old man and told him that hope was just what he needed. He asked the old man to advise him which old suitcase was the right one for him.

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Young man,” the old man said smiling happily. “This here marvel is 100% genuine leather, made in the 1930s, and it can be yours for only $5!”

Portrait of Man
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Mason knew he only had $5 in his pocket, and he also knew that buying this old rotting suitcase would mean no new music this week. But he took the risk and handed the old man the five dollars. The old man looked into Mason’s eyes and told him that he was a good person, he deserved everything that was coming to him. He helped place the old suitcase onto Mason’s lap. It was a lot heavier than he expected.

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An Unexpected Surprise

Mason found his way back home, and as his mother opened the door, she rolled her eyes. “More junk? Really Mason? We can barely afford to eat, why the hell did you buy that broken old suitcase?” Mason ignored her and rolled his chair to his bedroom and shut the door. He looked at the old bag that smelled of moth balls and heaved it onto his bed. Maybe his mother was right. What was he doing buying old garbage? He decided to open the bag and see if any of it could be salvaged.

Mason finally pried the old rusty latch open. His jaw dropped as he opened the suitcase. It was filled with money. Thousands of dollars! Mason screamed and his mother came running into the room to find out what had happened. He showed his mother the money inside the bag.

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So, that evening, the pair counted it. Nearly $400,000 dollars filled that old, shabby bag. Mason’s mother immediately started talking about how they could spend it, the house could be paid off, Mason could go to college… But Mason felt bad and uneasy.

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But mom,” Mason said softly. “It’s not our money. The man sold me this suitcase for five dollars and he looked very poor. I’m sure he didn’t know about the money.

Finding the Old Man

It had been four weeks since buying the suitcase, and Mason returned each week to try to find the old man. Sadly, he was nowhere to be seen. One Sunday, returning home after another attempt at finding the man, he noticed him about to get onto a bus. He called out but he did not turn around. Finally, Mason yelled as loudly as he could at the man to stop. Mason explained that he needed to return the bag, that the man had made a terrible error, and his money was inside.

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The old man smiled at Mason. “I told you that suitcase was filled with hope, and for the right person, it would mean the world” He waved and simply climbed onto the bus, leaving Mason dumbfounded.

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This story was inspired by an original piece of fiction that first appeared on AmoMama. Any similarities between this story and actual people is purely coincidental.

Keep Reading: Taxi Driver Returns Lost Wallet with $1600, Receives Amount 100 Times More Months Later – a Short Story

Jade Small
Freelance Writer
Jade is a freelance writer and content creator from South Africa with over 7 years of experience writing and creating. She's also a proud single mom to a super 13-year-old boy.
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