Monday, August 11, 2014

Broken Mirror Shard - Day 9

I told Big I thought I might be able to finish this soon, and I was surprised to hear that he's already finished his. He really is doing good writing work right now, which is encouraging to me, because if he gave up on this, I certainly would have as well. As it stands, I am glad this story is a short one, because I am finding it difficult to care anymore.

We'll have to talk when it's over, but I'm not exactly thrilled with the way it's going, and once it's finished, I fully expect me to describe it--as I do all my completed tales--as "not a great story."

But the work waits.


            The clerk yawned.  “You understand that the only way a machine like that makes money is if people spend more to win a prize than the prizes are worth, right?”

            Anthony shook his little head.  “But I got money from it, and Stewart got a piece of paper with boobs on it.”

            The clerk opened his mouth, puzzled, then simply asked, “Who’s Stewart?”

            “He is,” said Anthony, gesturing.

            “Okay, it’s all luck then.  I don’t know.”

            Stewart got an idea.  “Hey, if I gave you fifty cents . . . would you play the game?”

            The clerk squinted at him.  “What?  After you’re gone?”

            “No, right now.”


            “Because I’m not having any luck with it.”

            “You got some gum.  And you won ten bucks out of it yesterday, right?”

            “That was me,” Anthony said proudly.  “And it was twenty.”

            “Irregardless,” Stewart said, “I can’t get it to give me anything.  Will you try?”

            “You really want me to play it?”

            “Yes,” both boys said at the same time.  It was almost creepy.

            “Well, I guess so,” Adrian said, and stepped around the counter.  He glanced back at the cash register, just in case this was some elaborate ruse to get him away from the money there, but both boys were following him.

            Stewart handed him fifty cents.  “Here you go.”

            “And if I win something . . . what?  It goes to you?”

            “Yeah,” he said.  Then he reconsidered.  “No, we’ll split it.”

            “Alright, but if it’s a Chevy Tahoe, it won’t do you two all that much good.”  He smiled when he said it, but the smile faded when neither one of them laughed.

            They followed him to the MagiClaw and he almost inserted one of the quarters, then stopped.  “You know what?” he said, not to them, but to himself.  “I shouldn’t do this.  I’ll just hang out behind the counter.”  He handed the coins back to Stewart.  “Here you go.”

            “Come on,” Stewart demanded, and this time he was the one who sounded whiny.

            “You know . . .” the clerk began, but never continued.  He just walked back around to his cash register, and glanced away from them.

            For some reason, that caught Stewart’s full attention.  “What?”

            “Well, not for nothin’ but . . . it’s a nice day outside.  You shouldn’t be cooped up in here.”

            “Why do you care?”

            “’Cause I am cooped up in here.  Last week, I saw a girl I used to know, wearing Daisy Dukes.  And I just had to watch her walk past.”

            “What are Daisy Ducks?” Anthony asked, stupidly.  But Stewart was curious too.

            “They’re short shorts.  A rare sight nowadays.  You’ll understand soon.”

            But Stewart already understood, and wanted to tell the clerk about Claudia Espinoza and her glorious text message.  He’d never see something like that or something like her if he managed to master the toughest skate trick, win the lottery, and save the world, all on the same day.  He wanted to tell him that he hadn’t believed in anything for a long time, let alone magic, and now, for the last day, he’d been looking at the world differently.  With wonder again, like he had before Dad left, before Anthony was born.

            But this clerk was just a guy, a stranger, and Stewart couldn’t tell a stranger those things.  He couldn’t even tell his little brother.

            He handed over another five.  His last five.  “Quarters, please.”

            Adrian stared at him for a moment.  Then he opened the register, not glancing down.  “Listen, we’re running low on quarters.  I can only give you two.”

            “No, you’re not.  You’re just saying that.”

            “Maybe.  But I’m doing you a favor.  Just two bucks more, then go out into the sun and be young, enjoy the day.”

            “You have to give us quarters,” asserted Anthony by his brother’s side.  “We can tell your boss.”

            “Tell him what?”

            “That we wanted to buy something and you wouldn’t let us.”

            “Right.  Like beer or smokes?”

            Stewart gritted his teeth.  “This isn’t like that.  We’d tell him you wouldn’t serve us.”

            The clerk nodded.  “Hey, aren’t you the kid who tried to pass me a phony twenty yesterday?”

            “What?” Anthony asked, his eyes widening.  “You told me it was real.”

            “Ignore him, Ant,” Stewart said.  “He’s just being a . . .”  He nearly said, ‘prick,’ but a small voice told him not to, that he could get kicked out, banned from the store like Head was.  And that would not be good.

            “A what?”

            “A Yoda.”

            The clerk narrowed his eyes.  “A Yoda?”

            “He was in Star W­—” began Anthony.

            “I know who that is.  But what does that mean?”

            Stewart explained, “It means somebody old who’s full of useless advice.”

            “Hey, Yoda was not useless.  He . . .” The clerk sighed.  He seemed a little disgusted, a little angry, but he produced the quarters and pushed them in their direction.  “Spend on, boys.”

Words Today: 828
Words Total: 4649

1 comment:

Journey Into... said...

I was going to get on you if you didn't write something today, but I didn't have to. Keep going. I'm interested in how this plays out, even if you did throw in that "irregardless".