***Happy 1 Month Blogiversary to me! This is the most consistently I’ve ever done pretty much anything, so I’m very proud. I’ve only missed a few days here and there, but I stuck to the rules, so that seems all right to me. I was concerned about getting prompts done since I went back to work today, but the fact that it was the one month mark, I felt compelled not only to do a prompt today, but to go the extra mile and set a 500 word count for the day. Here’s to the next milestone!
PROMPT: A car with a broken taillight, a cigarette machine filled with something besides cigarettes, a mysterious coin.
I stepped outta the car and walked ‘round back to check on the damage. “Damn.” I’d backed straight into the wall at the back of the gas station. It was one of those stations with a market a few feet from the pump. There were parking spots along the back wall, but I’d never been any good at parking. Even the kind that wasn’t straight behind another car. The wall didn’t seem too bad. There was a gray line where my bumper scratched it. But my taillight was a whole different story. It didn’t look too pretty, and I was miles away from Jerry who usually fixed Ol’ Tammy when she had problems. I kicked the red glass with my boot, and prayed this market would have cigarettes in some form or another.
“You got cigarettes?” I said when I got the manager’s attention. “Well, you’re a long way from home, aren’t you? Where are you from sweet thing?” Just what I needed. A creep yankee railing on my accent or who knows what else. “You got a restroom?” He snarled at me and pointed toward the drink case. I turned on the dime and walked toward the back.
I dug through my worn pockets for some quarters when I saw the machine. Tampons or cigarettes. It was 25 cents for one of either. I pulled a few coins out and sifted through for a quarter. I found one finally and went to jam it in the slot, but there was already a coin in it. I tried to twist the lever but the coin wouldn’t budge. I struggled with it for a few minutes before slamming a fist into the metal. I wondered how much property I’d be damaging before I was through here.
I placed my finger over the very tip of the coin that was stuck and was able to slide it out. It wasn’t a quarter. No wonder. I didn’t know what it is. It was copper, like a penny, but the size a quarter. It was thicker though, like two quarters side by side. It didn’t say if it was from another country. I thought maybe it was one of those special coins that they kept making for no good reason, but it didn’t say that either. Just a few lines here and there.
I shoved it into my pocket and put the quarter into the clot where the coin had come from. It turned real easy this time and I sighed happily as I heard something clink into the metal tray at the bottom of the machine. I sighed and reached my hand in to fish it out. When I pulled my hand back, I was holding a lollipop. I slammed my fist against the machine again and went out to find the manager again. I tried to contain my yelling.
“You gamin’ people here?” He shrugged and smirked at me. “I’m gonna put my hand out and I better get a quarter or a cigarette real soon. Preferably the second one.” “I got a whole carton back here if you like. Only $80.” I was fuming. “So that’s what you do? You steal people’s money and don’t even give ‘em what they want.” He smiled again. “I can give you what you want, gorgeous.”
I was madder than when I’d gone into the store, but I wasn’t going to get any cigarettes here. I just had to hope there’d be another station along soon. I marched out, slamming the door against the wall on my way. “Hey!” he screamed after me, “You gotta pay for that.” I turned to him and screamed back. “I paid a whole quarter! Keep the change!” And then I got in my car and sped away, leaving the glass and the scratch behind me.