The Myth of Drachma, the God of Money
Once there was a demigod named Drachma who lived in New York. He loved going to the bank and seeing all the dollar bills coming out of the cash register. “I wish they were mine though?” Drachma sighed. His father Hephaestus was a god but still, Drachma wasn’t allowed to go to Mount Olympus for some reason. One day Drachma was walking down the street when he heard something.
“This is a special news alert!” he heard coming through people’s cell phones. “Something has gone wrong with all the ATM machines in New York. It appears that at the moment, no one can access their money through any machine in the city, and the banks also can’t access people’s accounts. That is all that is known right now, and we will bring you updates as we get them. It is important that nobody panics and everyone stays calm. The authorities will fix this situation as soon as possible.”
When Drachma heard the words don’t panic, he immediately realized in the next 2.78 seconds that the population of New York city would go wild. Drachma decided to take this into his own hands. “Only after I get up from getting stampeded,” he thought. Sure enough, he heard the roar of crowds and the thundering of human feet as people raced to the nearest money machines to see if they could get cash before they shut down. Drachma sighed. That isn’t going to work people, he thought, but everyone was going to try anyway just in case. When they found out it was really true, Drachma knew, the city was going to react with terror, and might even start to riot for toilet paper, water, and gift cards.
Drachma knew that someone had stolen the money from the Big Apple. There was no way the biggest market in the USA would lose all its money. Drachma thought for a few minutes and decided to call upon his brother Plutus. Plutus never came – and that’s why, Drachma knew, he was the best son. He called upon his father Hephaestus and he came. Drachma asked, “I know someone stole this money but I am not sure who. What do I do father?”
“Here is a staff I have been working on for 3,000 years and been wanting to give to you ever since you moved here.” Hephaestus said.
Drachma reached out to take the staff; it was heavy as it was made of pure gold, like everything his father made, and at the top it had a diamond-encrusted dollar sign. “Um, hey, dad?” Drachma said, “This is really awesome and all, but do you think walking around right now with a staff of solid gold and diamonds is a good idea while the city has no money?”
“Oh, you are right son,” Hephaestus laughed. “I didn’t even think of that because on Olympus no one is ever poor. Here, I will enchant it for you.” And with that, Hephaestus waved his big strong hand and poof, the staff shrank down to pocket size. “Now you can hide it in your pocket, but when you need it, take it out and it will return to its normal size.”
Drachma thanked his father and went to find the thief. As he wandered around the city he eventually realized that this would take along time. He looked for places to stay nearby so he wouldn’t have to go all the way back to his apartment, and found one place that caught his eye: Money Inn. Drachma went and searched through Money Inn because it appeared to be totally empty – until he found a man sitting down on the floor. He said hello to the man, and the man replied in a deep voice, “Why you come here?”
Drachma thought about asking how he could rent a room, but something about this man seemed unusual. Maybe he can give me information about the thief, Drachma thought. He wanted to ask, but he knew he had to be careful.
“Terrible thing about all the money in New York being stolen, huh?” Drachma said casually.
“What money?” the man replied
“All of it, I guess?” Drachma said a little bit suspiciously. The man stood up and he was a giant. The man called to someone by the name of 45 and told him to come. This man, who Drachma named simple “the giant” grabbed Drachma and put him in a chair and told him to wait. Drachma was hungry and was about to ask for food when the giant gave him a small piece of an apple and said to eat it.
Except it really wasn’t a small piece of apple because it was from the giant, so it was giant sized. “I guess you could say this is a really BIG APPLE, get it?” Drachma joked. The giant just stared at him.
“Giants aren’t known for their sense of humor,” said another voice from behind him.
The giant turned around and said, “45. You late. Why Late?”
45 snapped his fingers and the giant was on the floor. 45 made his way over and took away the “Big Apple” and gave him an actual small piece.
He looked at the giant and snarled, “You fool. Why did you give him a big apple!”
“Sorry,” the giant whimpered as he lay on the floor.
Drachma stood up; he felt more courageous now that the giant was on the floor, and 45 was normal-sized. “Look, this has been fun and all, but why exactly am I sitting in this chair watching you yell at a giant?”
“You will do whatever I tell you to do,” 45 replied, smoothing his hand over his green hair.
45 left the building and for the next 20-30 days, Drachma had either been starved, attacked by millions of demons when he was sleeping, given a milliliter of water for his only drink of the day, and deprived of money to pay his mounting hotel fees. Drachma felt weak and tired. He wanted to leave this place but never had the energy. Then a thought came.
He had forgotten all about the staff Hephaestus had given him. It was still shrunk down to a small size and hiding in his pocket. He still did not really know what it would do, but he figured now was as good a time as any. He took the staff out of his pocket and sure enough, it began to grow. “Here goes nothing,” he said to himself, and pointed the staff at the wall.
100-dollar bills flung out of the staff and slammed against the wall and almost broke it. “Wow.” He said slowly. Drachma decided this would be reasonable to use. Then he realized he couldn’t get out of the room because the money had blocked the door.
He picked up the hotel phone and called the front desk. “I know I haven’t had the money to pay my rent for the past 30 days,” he told them. “But if you come to my room right away, I can slip some money to you under the door.” Of course, the manager hung up right away and Drachma could hear his footsteps running up the stairs.
Drachma used his staff to blow some of the money under the crack in the bottom of the door. Once he thought he had blown enough out to make the manager happy, he told him, “If this looks good to you, there’s plenty more where this came from. Gather everyone together and meet me back here in half an hour and you’ll see just how much more I have to give away.”
30 minutes later, everyone inside the hotel forced their way inside the room and started taking all the money. Drachma decided to run, and when people started chasing him, he pointed his staff at the door and 4.87 seconds later, the entire exit of the hotel was sealed with money.
People who were walking past the hotel started shouting and grabbing at all the 100 dollar bills. Drachma used the crowds as cover to slip away. “At least some people will have a nice dinner tonight,” he thought as he sprinted off to his next location. As it turned out, for all the days he was mistreated in the hotel, he also heard a lot of conversations, and although they didn’t know it, he thought he heard some of 45s henchmen talking about where his headquarters was.
Just then, he heard a clink noise and realized that his staff was turned miniature and was on the floor somewhere. He turned around and saw a man take it and run away. He tried to catch up, but the crowds pushed him the other way. About 5 minutes later, Drachma decided to give up and just go home.
When Drachma got home, he thought about how he could get his staff back. He was afraid to go to Mount Olympus and tell Hephaestus what happened because it might make him angry, so he knew he had to figure something out for himself. He remembered hearing that 45’s headquarters was somewhere in Trump Tower, but how would he get in there without anyone knowing? And how could he find out what floor 45 lived on? Drachma got on the internet to read up on Trump Tower, since it was such a famous building, so he went to Yelp and saw hundreds of reviews about how bad the building was and how everything was always breaking, so he decided to dress up as a repair man and pretend he was there to fix something. Now all he had to do was figure out which floor 45 lived on.
Drachma went to the nearest store and got a repair man suit. The owner looked a little bit suspicious looking at a 5’4 guy wanting a 6’3 suit. Drachma got the suit and rushed out of the store. He decided to cut the pants and shirt until it fit him. Drachma eventually fixed it, and then he put it on. Drachma then thought about how he was going to find 45. Then, a thought came up. Drachma remembered how rich 45 was and realized he probably owned the entire building. Drachma went back on Yelp and saw it was owned by anonymous, which was probably 45. As he went to open his front door, he saw an envelope had been shoved under it that said, “Use Me.” Drachma in a hurry, so he simply shoved the envelope into his baggy repair man suit and told himself he would open it later.
It didn’t take long to get to Trump Tower. It was easy to find because it was so tall and had TRUMP TOWER written in gold across the top. Drachma walked through the revolving door and was shocked when he almost stepped on the tiniest man he’d ever seen also going through it at the same time. After dealing with a giant at the last hotel, he wasn’t too surprised to now see a man the size of a hot dog. So, Drachma just followed this tiny man through the lobby, and in his repairman suit no one questioned him. He got on the same elevator as the little dude to see which button he jumped up to push. Then, Drachma noticed this tiny man had a tiny little staff sticking out of his pocket! Hephaestus must have cursed it to shrink anyone who tried use it other than him! Now all he had to do was follow the tiny man and he was sure he’d find 45 there.
Drachma followed the man until he saw a pit of fire. Immediately Drachma knew he had to stop the man. He stepped over the man (Literally) and stopped in front of him. “Do you want money?” he asked.
In a childish voice the man replied, “Well. No. I got a lot already and plus, how would you have more money than me? By the way, do your work!”
Drachma remembered the envelope, reached into his pocket, opened it, and took out what was inside. He also heard the man asking what the staff did. Uh oh. Drachma dropped the card and immediately, there was a voice in is brain. “Name a number,” it said. Drachma said “34500.” His hand filled with 1, 5-, 10-, 50-, and 100-dollar bills. Drachma had the ability to count fast so he recognized it to be 34500. Drachma picked up the card and held it up towards the man. Little did he know, the card fell again.
Drachma said to the man as he handed the money, “Here.”
But then, a voice popped into Drachma’s mind saying “Name a number.”
At the exact same time, the man said, “How much is this?”
Drachma said zero, just wanting to take the voice out of his mind, but the little man heard him.
“Is this a scam?” he said.
“No sir. Not at all,” Drachma replied.
“Well zero dollars seems like a scam. What do you want!”
Unfortunately, when Drachma said the word “Zero,” the 34500 that had been in his hands had turned to zero. Enough dealing with this guy, he thought to himself.
“Hey, where did you get that staff you have in your pocket?” he ask little man.
“None of your business,” the man said back.
“It looks pretty fancy for a tiny businessman to be carrying around. Prove to me it’s yours. Use it for something why don’t you?”
Annoyed, the tiny man took the staff out of his pocket. “Seriously?” he shouted at Drachma. “I am not going to take any more attitude from some plumber or whatever you are. Just buzz off!” He yelled, and as he said this, he stomped the staff on the ground. Immediately, it shrunk him down so tiny he disappeared with a ‘pop.’
Quickly, Drachma picked up the little staff and placed it back in his pocket. There weren’t that many rooms on this floor, so one of them had to be 45’s headquarters. Drachma decided to go home and make some better plans before storming in there. He wanted to be sure his attack was successful. New York was running out of more money by the second, and he needed to be sure he had a plan that would work before everyone went totally bankrupt.
Drachma picked up the card and decided to put glue on it so it would stick to his clothes. Drachma put a spy fly in the floor as he left. He could hear anything and everything.
That night when he went to plan, he heard, “You fools. That boy knows. He knows! Why would you let him in. Why!” Immediately Drachma knew that “boy” referred to him.
Drachma knew this meant he had to act fast. 45 knew he’d been located. Then he heard something else that both scared and encouraged him: “We have GOT to find that one working ATM before that boy does. If he finds it – we’re done for! All our hard work will be ruined and everyone will get their money back!”
“How are we gonna do that, Boss?” one of the men in the room said. “It could be anywhere.”
“I have two ideas,” 45 said. “You don’t get to be as big and powerful as I am by just coming up with one idea, you know,” he bragged. “First, we need to get a few men on the trail of that kid. Maybe he will find the ATM before we do, and if he does, we need to be right there to stop him from getting to it before we do.
“Second, we control all other ATMs in New York, right? So, all we need to do is use the Main Bank of New York Computer System to locate every single ATM in the city and then get as many of our men as possible to go out and test every one of them. Eventually someone will find the ATM that still works.”
“That’s gonna take a lot of men,” one of the workers in the room said.
“So what? I’m rich and powerful. And people are broke right now. I will put an ad in the paper that says I am offering jobs to people who are willing to travel around the city, and we will make them sign an agreement that says they can’t talk about what we ask them to do or they won’t get paid. That way it will all be secret.”
“That sounds like a great plan, boss,” one of the men said. “I don’t see how anything could go wrong!”
Drachma felt a little funny after he heard this. Should he go and find the ATM by going undercover again, or should he do something else? The thought circulated in is mind for about an hour. But he knew something – he had to act fast. Drachma decided that at dawn he would go and find that ATM. And if there were people following him, he would go a random route, hoping he could lose them. He chose to sleep and have a rest before the adventure.
That night, he had a dream. Outside his apartment was a terrible storm. The entire city was lit up like a Christmas tree due to all the lightning. Drachma was standing on his balcony watching the rain, when all of a sudden, a huge lightning bolt shot from the clouds. It was shaped like a giant hand that was pointing an electric finger right at the New York Executive State Mansion in Albany, NY. Drachma woke up and shot straight up in bed. “That must be it!” Drachma recognized the lightning bolt as having come from Zeus, so he knew he first had to visit the Little Zeus Food Truck on 112th 50th Street, to give him an offering of thanks before continuing on his quest.
Drachma got up and decided to go. Once he reached the food truck he said, “Um hello. Where ca-“
“We’re closed.” The replied blatantly.
Drachma thought the man looked familiar. Wasn’t he the guy at Trump Tower who put him in the chair? The man must have realized that he was Drachma because he squinted his eyes at him and said “What’s your name kiddo!” Drachma quickly grabbed a loaf of bread and offered it to Zeus, and when the bread disappeared, the man jumped on him. “Hey! I am just a kid.” Drachma said. He rolled to the side and ran off. “Oh no,” he thought. Drachma zoomed past everyone and ran all the way to Albany.
As he neared the Executive State Mansion, he heard a car horn beeping behind him. Oh no, he thought. What if that was 45’s men catching up to him? He would be leading them right to what he was pretty sure was the working ATM. He turned around and saw – the Little Zeus Food Truck! The real men who owned the truck had followed him there!
“Hey! Hop in, mister!” they shouted. “We saw how you offered that bread to Zeus and it disappeared. We figured you must be a special guy if you could do that so we decided to follow you!”
Drachma got his staff out and pointed it at them. It did absolutely nothing. Drachma sighed. He took a turn left and kept running. He then saw it. A 234-foot monster with large wings. Drachma then saw a green light on an ATM. “I’ve got to get there and use the credit card that I have,” he thought. Drachma saw a store inside the building. He saw a door and went in it. When he realized no one was chasing him, he took a breather. He’d ran so much that he almost fainted. “Not now,” he said to himself. After about 5 minutes, drachma decided to go and save the Big Apple. “Let’s go,” he told himself as he was ready for some action.
The store he was in was attached to the Executive Mansion, which was on the second floor. As he exited the store, a huge stream of flame shot across right in front of him. Drachma jumped back and looked in the direction of the flame. There stood the monster, and in front of it holding onto the chain that was attached to the monster’s neck, was the Governor of New York.
“Not so fast, pal,” the Governor said. “That ATM is for my personal use only. No one is allowed to use it, that’s why it has that green light at the top. Green is my favorite color.”
Drachma smiled, “It’s my favorite color, too,” and with that he pointed his staff right at him. A stream of money shot right at the Governor’s face, and he burst out in laughter.
“Now, you’re my kind of guy!” the Governor said happily. “Green is my favorite color because money is my favorite thing in the world! How can I help you?” he asked, as the monster roared another shot of flame in Drachma’s direction. “Hey, knock it off, Pebbles,” the Governor said. “This is one of the good guys. We’re going to let him have access to the ATM if he can give us a good reason why he’s here.”
“I am here to use that ATM to get all the other ATMs in the city working. Only I can do it. And if 45 gets to it before I do, he is going to take control of that one too, and then he’ll control everything.”
The Governor thought for a moment. “You know, I admit it’s been kind of nice to keep this ATM secret and be the only person in New York with any cash,” he said, stroking Pebbles’s big scaly paw while he talked. “But eventually the entire city is going to blame me for this whole mess if I don’t fix it soon, so I guess it’s good that you’re here to fix things for me. I just have one condition before we get started.”
“What’s that?” Drachma asked.
“You have to let me take the credit for getting all the ATMs working,” the Governor said.
“I will do that as long you do something for me,” Drachma said.
“You have to tell everyone in New York to burn $10 a month. It will really be in honor of me as the god I am sure to become if I succeed, but they don’t have to know that,” Drachma told him.
“I have no problem with that,” the Governor said. “I’m sure I can come up with some reason for them to burn the money.”
Drachma went and got the credit card he had .001 second before he could put it into the machine, the card got swatted away. Drachma turned around to see 45’s big eyes staring at him. 45 took his leg and dragged him all around the place until Drachma broke free and ran. 45 came running but Drachma swatted at him with his staff. “Stand back.” Drachma said. 45 threw his shoe at Drachma and the card flew out of his hand. “Okay. I guess I have to fight this one.” Drachma said.
It was him versus 45. Drachma moved in a swift direction as he jabbed at 45 with his staff. 45 fell to the floor but got back up and snapped his fingers which caused giants to appear. One of the giants stood out. It was the giant from Money Inn. Drachma was in trouble. But he continued fighting. He took out most of the giants with his staff. Then, it was just 45 and THE giant.
Suddenly, Drachma heard a voice in his ear. “Remember,” the voice said, “everyone has a weakness.” It was the ancient Greek hero, Achilles. Achilles had been dipped in the River Styx as a child, but there was spot on his heel where his mother held him that was vulnerable. One arrow shot into his heel is what killed him, even though the rest of him was invincible. Achilles was trying to tell him something – but what was 45’s one weakness? His staff started to quiver, and he felt it pointing directly at 45’s chest. That was when Drachma realized what his weakness was.
But first, the giant. Drachma told the giant a joke knowing he didn’t have a sense of humor. The giant stood there confused as Drachma defeated it. The only other person left was 45. Drachma eyed his wallet as he was ready to charge.
The wallet was in the inside pocket of 45’s suit jacket. It was huge and stuffed full of money. But at the last moment 45 saw how Drachma was looking at it and held onto it with his hand. “Oh no you don’t!” 45 shouted as he took off his jacket and threw it up into the air, where it turned into a hot air balloon and started to float into the sky.
Drachma decided to get the wallet. He grabbed his staff and threw it at the hot air balloon and it popped. 45 shouted in anger and charged at Drachma. Drachma swiftly dodged 45’s attack and ran to the wallet. When he reached the wallet, he looked up and saw the giant’s ugly face. “Uh oh” Drachma said.
The giant grabbed the wallet before Drachma could reach it. He looked at it curiously. Then he said, “I work for 45 many years. He never pay me. I think I take payment now.” And with that, he lifted up a big green foot and squashed 45 like a bug.
But unfortunately, the wallet was a regenerator. No wonder the wallet was so special. It had kept him alive for so long. 45 decided to do this a different way: Reverse psychology. He said, “Fine, I give up, you can have it.” In .23 seconds, every single person looked at him. Even Pebbles. 45 then said,” So… that’s it, right?”
“Yeah, I guess,” Drachma replied.
“I’ll give you the wallet, then I can be the good guy, maybe,” 45 replied.
“Sure, but I prefer being the good guy,” Drachma said as he held onto the wallet.
45 thought he was being clever, but Drachma hadn’t forgotten the real reason he was there: to get to that ATM. Maybe he could use the wallet situation to distract 45 long enough to get access to it and fix all the other ATMs in the city.
“Hey Governor!” Drachma shouted. “Catch!” Then Drachma threw the wallet to the Governor, who was still standing beside Pebbles.
As the wallet flew through the air, 45 laughed out loud and shouted “Sucker! I’m gonna catch it and then it will be mine forever!” But while he was chasing after the wallet, Drachma zoomed towards the ATM machine.
45 saw Drachma going for the ATM and chased after him. But 45’s lives were basically in the Governor’s hands. The Governor fed the wallet to Pebbles and 45 fell to the ground as he disintegrated into a pile of pennies. “Thanks, Gov,” Drachma said.
“DON’T EVER CALL ME THAT,” the governor said.
“Chill,” Drachma said as he put the credit card in the ATM.
The all the atm’s started working and people started rampaging at the ATMs and people were getting run over. The Governor got an alert on his phone that told him what was happening. “Drachma, now there’s violence spreading all over the city because everyone is rushing to the ATM machines! Can you get this under control?”
Drachma rolled his eyes and handed the credit card to the Governor. “I think I’ve done enough for one day,” he said. “You’re the Governor, after all.”
The Governor sighed, but he got on the phone with emergency services right away to fix the problem.
Even though Drachma didn’t help with the stampedes after the ATM machines were fixed, he still got his big promotion to god status because of all the work he’d done. Drachma was now in charge of money and wealth. He would fix a problem with money if there was any. Drachma was happy. And the Governor passed a law that put Drachma’s face on all money as well as a special edition credit card. And once a month, everyone burned $10 in honor of him, just like he’d asked them to do.
-by Sarvesh, Grade 6