Bedtime Stories

One Penny

One Penny is a scary story for kids about a rich man who refuses to give money to charity, even when a little boy is freezing to death.

One Penny

It was the middle of Winter. The wind was blowing cold and the sidewalks were covered in snow. A businessman had just finished work and was leaving his office. As he walked out the door of the building, he saw a young boy sitting on the side of the street. He was dressed in faded shorts and a frayed shirt and was shivering in the cold.

“Hey mister, give me one penny!” shouted the boy.

“Leave me alone!” bellowed the man, as he quickly got into his car and drove off.

The businessman had carved out a successful career for himself in the finance industry. He had a lot of money in the bank and owned a big house. Despite all this, he never gave so much as one cent to the poor. Whenever people asked him why he didn’t give to charity, he just told them that he wasn’t in the business of paying people to be lazy.

Later that evening, when he got home from work, the businessman pulled into his driveway and was shocked to see the young boy standing at his front door.

“Hey mister, give me one penny!” said the boy.

Without a second thought, the businessman roughly pushed the boy aside, and entered his house. He sat down in his living room and turned on the television. His wife came in carrying a tray and placed his dinner in front of him. As he was eating, he happened to look out the window and saw the boy standing there, clutching himself and trying to keep warm in the freezing weather. The man let out an exasperated sigh, then got up and pulled the curtains.

The next morning, when he was leaving for work, the boy was still there.

“Hey mister, give me one penny!” said the boy.

The irritated man ignored him and got into his car. His wheels spun in the snow, showering the boy with sleet and ice, as he drove off. That evening, when he returned, the boy was waiting for him. The man was fed up and dug deeply in his pocket. He took out a copper coin and threw it angrily at the boy.

“There’s your damn penny!” he shouted. “Now get out of my sight!”

The boy picked up the money and left without saying a word.

After work, the man walked out of his office, expecting to see the boy, but the street was empty. He drove home, expecting to find the boy waiting for him, but there was nobody in his driveway. He walked into his house, kissed his wife, ate some dinner and watched some television. The boy seemed to be leaving him alone.

In the middle of the night, the businessman was lying in bed with his wife when he felt a cold little hand on his shoulder touches. He heard a voice whisper in his ear, “Hey mister, give me one penny.”

The man screamed in fright and jumped out of bed, but when he switched on the lights there was nobody else in the room. His wife calmed him down and told him he must have been dreaming. He lay down, but spent most of the night tossing and turning, unable to sleep.

He began to remember something. An incident that had happened many years ago. When he was a young boy, he and his gang of friends had been the school bullies. All of the kids had been afraid of them. There was one little boy in particular that he had bullied every day. The boy’s parents were very poor and couldn’t afford to buy him new clothes. He recalled how he had often teased the poor child. At other times he had beaten him up and stolen his pocket money.

The businessman’s memory was foggy. As morning approached, he climbed up into the attic and dug out his old school yearbooks. Flipping through the pages he found the picture of the young boy he had bullied mercilessly. The yearbook dropped from his hands. It was the same young boy.

Gradually, his memories began to grow more clear. He recalled the day he and three of his friends had dragged the poor boy down to the local river. After beating him up, they threw him into the icy waters and walked away without giving him a second thought. The next day, the poor boy didn’t turn up in class. He and his friends simply assumed that the boy’s parents had moved him to another school.

The man didn’t sleep at all that night. At breakfast, he didn’t eat a thing. He had completely lost his appetite. Cautiously, he opened the front door and saw the little boy waiting outside in the snow. The man could barely breathe. It seemed as if the boys piercing eyes were staring into his soul. He fell to his knees and begged the boy for forgiveness.

“Waht do you want from me?” he cried. “It was so long ago… We were children… There were others involved… I wasn’t the only one… It wasn’t my fault…”

The boy just stood and stared at him. The man took a wad of bills out of his pocket and thrust them at the boy.

“Here, take this,” he said. “It’s all the money I have in my wallet.”

The boy took the money from the man’s trembling hands and disappeared without saying a word.

That evening, the man came home and ate dinner. He had regained his appetite and felt much better. His conscience was clear. During the night, he woke up feeling thirsty and went downstairs to get himself a drink. He stopped in the doorway of the kitchen. In the pale moonlight, he could just make out a small figure lurking in the darkness.

A voice whispered, “Give me one penny.”

The terrified man ran out of the house and jumped into his car. He drove to the nearest bank and waited until it opened. Then, he took out all his life savings. He sold his house with all the furniture inside. He sold his car, his television and even his wife’s jewelery. He put all the money in a bag. Every penny of it.

Later that day, as he was walking down the street, the boy stepped out of an alleyway and stood in front of him.

“Hey mister, give me one penny!” said the boy.

The weary man laid the bag of money at the boy’s feet.

“This is every penny I have,” he said. “Take it and leave me alone.”

The boy picked up the bag and disappeared without saying a word.

The next night, the man was lying in a doorway, struggling to keep warm. He was dressed in an old pair of pants and a frayed shirt. Around him, he was clutching a dirty blanket, trying desperately to fall asleep.

Suddenly, he heard soft footsteps approaching in the darkness. They came to a stop right beside him. The man slowly turned and looked up. He saw the boy standing over him.

“What do you want?” screamed the man. “I gave you everything! Everything! There is nothing left to give! That’s all I have!”

The ghost boy smiled and said, “No, mister, that’s not all!”

He reached out, tore open the man’s chest and ripped out his heart.

55 Comments

  • OK it was too much for both of them,
    but where did the ghost boy put the bag of money…? lol

  • He totally deserved it. But besides the death of his enemy, what in the world would the boy do with such a cold, empty, stone heart? Great story, sfk, it was cool.

  • Who the HELL is Karma?Oh and don’t be mean to her.Great story innit the boy was getting revenge why would he say please to someone who killed him.GOD!Sorry I have a bad temper.

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