I hate those dark machines, don't you? The ones you have to squeeze into and then drop down a horrible dark passage until you hit the bottom with a clunk. And you never know how long you'll have to stay there.
Anyway, in case you weren't sure, I am a shilling and I know that because someone called me one; very clever to have a name for a someone like me. But who ever said that should try living in one of those machines; I was just settling cozily, when I was picked up by the sweatiest, smelliest hand ever; oh my, it was putrid. It was damp too and I could not find any dry patches to settle. Luckily though, I slipped down into a kind of soft dark cave, before feeling a cold blast: it had a hole at the bottom. I stared in horror, realising I could fall out very easily now.
Taken out again in the same old sweaty hand (fortunately dry by now) I felt like I was going upwards towards the light; it so bright that I had to squint to see properly. I could feel the boy slowing down and stopping.
This next thing that happened made me disgusted, yes disgusted: I was exchanged for a bar of chocolate. Lost for words, I was then put into a hard metal box that pinged every time it was opened. Shortly after, just as I was trying to take a nap, I was taken out again; I didn't even get to have a rest! So much running around.
I must have been asleep for a while because I had the strangest dreams of being in a vast noisy cavern, with heat and noise. I felt my insides going; as if my very being was dissolved. I thought I saw fire and heard the hiss of steam. When I woke up, I felt somehow different. I looked down at myself. I was a ten pence, a real ten pence. A shiny, bright, silver coin!
You'd think that this would have given me some respect wouldn't you? But no - I was plonked into another pocket, rather nicer smelling this time; I settled down and relaxed.
Suddenly, I had the feeling of falling through space; I hit the curb and bounced onto the side of the road, where I lay dismal and unhappy. The wind whistled sadly over me, sending pieces of rubbish around me in little circles. Wet, abandoned leaves fluttered down around me, like lost ghosts searching for freedom.
Eventually, I felt the vibration of footsteps. I opened my eyes in hope. A kind face gazed down at me. The face of a little girl.
"Dad, is that ten pence?" she asked excitedly.
"Yes, darling it is. Looks pretty new to me."
I looked up mournfully and she picked me up. Her hand had the nicest smell ever. I felt as if I had come home.