The Treasures of Fred
by Sandra McDonald and Stephen D. Covey
When my father died, he left behind several hundred pounds of quartz (very valuable), a bin of meteorites (valuable for my classroom), two hundred classic science fiction magazines (maybe a collector would buy them), and a 1970 edition of the Handbook of Mathematical Functions edited by Abramowitz and Stegun (worthless).
After the funeral, I returned to his apartment and found a burglar stealing the Abramowitz and Stegun.
"I mean no harm," he said.
Being a crime scene heroine has never been a goal of mine. I stepped back and said, "Get out."
As he left he said, "Thank you!"
The police officer who took my report said, "Funny that he only stole a book."
Nothing was funny. My father was dead and his apartment had been robbed. But that was just the first break-in.
When my father died, he left behind a seventy-five watt CO2 laser (very valuable), a five hundred thousand volt Tesla coil (great gift for a mad scientist), a box full of nerdy T-shirts (including Star Trek quotes and scientific formulas), and a 1970 textbook edited by Abramowitz and Stegun (worthless).
After the funeral, I discovered a burglar in Dad's apartment clutching the Abramowitz and Stegun and an old black T-shirt.
"I'm leaving right now," he said. "I just need these things."
A chill ran along my spine. "Didn't we just do this yesterday?"
He looked surprised. "You remember?"