Say what you will about Rish . . . it can't be worse than what he says about himself.
"I hope it's gonna make you notice,
I hope it's gonna make you notice . . .
Someone like me."
Kings of Leon
"I don't think anyone knows what they really think--or perhaps even what they really know--until it's written down."
Sunday, August 03, 2014
Broken Mirror Shard - Day 6
I got no writing done on Friday, as it was GUARDIANS day. Which is not an excuse, but I chose to hang out with my nephew, cousin, and friend, and edited audiobooks when I was not.
However, I will endeavor to make it up to you.
Words, muse! Give me words!
The clerk did as he was told, giving
the boy three fives, three ones, and eight quarters.As soon as his brother had the change,
Stewart said, “He won that twenty, from the claw machine.”
“Really?We just got it in last week.”The clerk looked past them, at the big black machine,
and did not look pleased.“You know,
those games don’t usually pay out too good.You might want to quit while you’re ahead.”
“A guy won gold a minute ago,”
The clerk—whose name tag read
Adrian, glanced over at it again.“Yeah,
well.A lady I know claimed it had her
car keys in it when it first came in.But she dropped them back in, so we’ll never know.”
“Yeah,” Stewart said.“Those things suck.You can’t even see what’s in this one.”
“I see a baseball.”
“It’s probably nailed on there.”
The clerk snorted, pleased by the
youth’s cynicism.“Probably.You want to pay for your drinks?”
Stewart hadn’t realized they’d
forgotten about the soda and the Icee, and he told his brother to pay.“Since you have so much cash on you.”
The boy was glad to, but as soon as
that was done, they were back beside the MagiClaw, and Anthony was feeding two
“You gonna try for the baseball?”
“Baseball’s lame,” the boy said, and
moved the claw past the ball—which was old and scuffed, with “Robinson – 42”
scrawled on it in blue ink. He maneuvered
the claw over to the right, and lowered it down out of sight, where the black
partition hid it from view.
Stewart felt his chest tighten as
the claw descended, closed, and began to rise again.It moved to the left, where they could see
what it had captured . . . absolutely nothing.
“Oh,” Stewart heard himself
say.He had—for a second there—believed it
would scoop up something good.He felt suddenly
disappointed, not in the machine, but in himself.“Come on,” he said, putting his hand on the
boy’s back.“Let’s go.”
“Do you want to try?” Anthony asked.
And Stewart surprised himself by
He took two quarters from the boy—technically
his own quarters, since he’d paid for the first game—and fed them into the
slot.The lights on MagiClaw began to
flash, and a little countdown started from ten.
Stewart used the joystick to move
the claw over the trapdoor and into the mystery section blocked from view.He couldn’t see whether something good lay
below—the whole machine might have been empty except for the old baseball for
all he knew—but lowered the claw.It
dropped, then began to rise, moving on its own back toward the vending door.
The claw had a little white paper in
its teeth, fingers, whatever.
“More money!” Anthony cheered.
“Not unless it’s a check, Annie,”
“Hey!” his brother said behind him,
The paper dropped into the opening,
and Stewart reached in and got it.It
wasn’t a check; it was just a sheet of unlined white paper, folded once.He opened it up.
it read, in flowery handwriting.
“Lemme see!” Anthony said, and
Stewart showed him the joke.For that’s
what it had to be.
“Bewbies?” read the kid.“Is that how you spell—”
“No.It isn’t.”Stewart’s back molars
were grinding together.He focused all
his self-control on not looking toward the cash register to see if the clerk
was watching them, maybe smirking.Instead, he turned in the opposite direction.“Let’s get the hell out of here.”