Become a Fan
By Bobbye R. Terry
Sunday, August 08, 2004
Not rated by the Author.
This short-short story was originally written for an online contest sponsored by a film studio. Hope you enjoy!
By Terry Campbell
“See a penny, pick it up.” Elise Deville bent down and grabbed it. She rose just in time and waved her umbrella at the oncoming taxi. It stopped, splashing the curb with muddy water. Jumping back, she just missed colliding with a man. He opened the taxi and jumped in. Elise grabbed the door as it started to close. “Wait a cotton pickin’ minute. This taxi’s mine, not yours.”
“Gotta’ be fast in this town.” The man smiled. “You look resourceful. Another one’ll be along.”
“This one’s here now. Move over.”
He frowned and slid across the seat. “I’m in a hurry, lady. Ride with me, you wait until I reach my destination. M Street, driver.”
“My stop’s in Georgetown too. Before yours.”
He’d already pulled out a PDA and was ignoring her.
Arrogant twit. “My name’s Elise Deville.”
He looked up. “Now that we’re sharing a cab, you want to share a conversation too? Name’s Rick Moore. Enough conversation?”
Elise frowned and rubbed the coin between her fingers. “The bistro’s just ahead, driver.” Exiting, she pivoted and tossed the penny. “Here. Good luck.”
Rick caught it and flipped it back. “I make my own luck.” He closed the door as the taxi moved away. Women. Just then his phone played his attorney’s ring tone.
“Rick, they called in the money. All fifteen million.”
Rick’s breath caught in his throat. “They can’t . . .”
“They can. It’s in your contract. Just never thought they’d do it.”
He swallowed hard. “How long do I have?”
“Until nine a.m. tomorrow. Sorry, Rick. Bad luck.”
“What did you say? Never mind. Gotta’ go.” He tapped the driver. “Turn around and go back to that bistro.”
Her sandwich and Rick Moore arrived at the same time. He plopped down across from her. “Eating alone?”
“I was supposed to meet a client. He cancelled. Come back to denigrate me again?” Elise took a bite of her sandwich.
“No. I need that penny.”
“You’re kidding?” She took a sip of water. “Sorry, it joined all of its friends in my purse. Don’t know which one it is.”
He exhaled. “Fine. I’ll pay for all of them.”
“What kind of twisted person are you?” She moved her purse closer to her chair.
“Look, Ms Deville, after I gave that penny back, I got a call. The company that sold me a building called in the marker for the rest of the payment. I’ve spent all my savings on it, and I can’t raise the money in twenty hours. I need that penny.”
She took another bite. “What happened to making your own luck?”
He leaned further over the table. “Give me the damn pennies.”
She fished them out of her wallet and dumped them on the table. “Don’t pay me. Bad luck.”
He grabbed the coins and pulled out his phone.
“What’re you doing?”
“Waiting for it to ring.”
Half an hour later after no phone calls, Rick raced back to his office with Elise in tow. “Research. We need to find a good luck charm. One I found. One that works.”
“Do you realize how crazy you sound?”
He looked up as he opened the door. “You’re the one who started this.”
“I didn’t call in a marker.”
“Circumstantial. Let’s check the computer.”
Minutes later, he held up his list. “Okay, lucky charms. Lady bugs, horseshoes, rabbit feet, four leaf clovers, shamrocks, rainbows and shooting stars.” He rolled up his shirtsleeves. “Can’t make rainbows or shooting stars. They’re off the list. I wish I could go straight for the pot of gold.”
“That’s at the end of the rainbow. Won’t work.” Elise giggled.
“Take this seriously.” He frowned. “My life depends on it.”
“I can see it now in the newspaper: Man saved by lucky rabbit’s foot.”
He crossed his arms. “Are you going to help me or not?”
“I don’t know why, but yes.”
“Lucky’s Pawn Shop?” Rick looked from the sign to Elise.
“Lucky’s the name, and he probably has a horseshoe.”
“Okay.” He held the door for her and then followed. “Looks like a junk dealer.”
“What you calling junk?” A small Chinese man with a long white beard stepped up. “Me Lucky. Me proprietor.”
“Of course.” Elise stepped in front of Rick. “Do you have a horseshoe?”
Lucky tapped his chin. “Me think one next to authentic John Wayne saddle.”
They followed him through the crowded aisles to the table of western gear. He picked up a horseshoe, lying it flat in his palm.
The old man smiled. “Must be careful with horseshoe. Full of magic. Thirty dollars.”
“Thirty bucks for a piece of steel?”
“One dollar for steel. Twenty-nine for magic.” He broke into a broader grin.
“Okay.” Rick pulled the money from his wallet, then took the horseshoe by the top and stepped towards the door.
“Mr. Sir,” the old man called out. “Me sorry but luck just drain out.”
Elise cleared her throat. “He means when you hold a horseshoe with the ends down, the luck falls out of it.”
Back at his office, Rick stared at the horseshoe. “I can’t believe a contract got me into this mess.”
Elise jumped up. “Contract! That’s it! Let me read it.”
“Why?” Rick walked to his filing cabinet. “My lawyer already has.
“I’m a contract lawyer,” she told him. “Let me see it.”
Pulling it from the cabinet, he handed it to her. She skimmed it quickly. “I don’t see anything giving these people a right to ask you for the rest of the money early.” She stepped closer to him. “Has it occurred to you your lawyer may have sold you out?”
“You’re kidding . . .” Rick stopped. “Of course!” He laughed, then leaned forward and kissed her. “I love you.” He smiled. “You know, I think I really do.”
Elise wrapped her arms around his neck. “You make your own luck.”
Site: Terry Campbell
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|Reviewed by Mary Coe
|A very excellent write. Enjoyed the read.|
|Reviewed by Saleh Razzouk
|The story is full of remarks draws us back to the technique of John Steinbeck , The Nobel Laureate , but without that bit concerned with the price of civilization, I mean to shed blood in order to cross the boundary of segregation between races and cultures.
It is gentle and moving story.
|Reviewed by Barbara Terry
|There are lawyers, and then there are lawyers. I wouldn't give a sack full of pennies for whole profession. But sometimes we need them to get us out of jams. Thnx but I'll stick with the preserves. Giggle. This is a great dramatic little story Bobbye. Thnx for sharing. May the Lord Jesus bless you, and those whom you love, and be with you always, and at your side constantly. With much love inmy heart, maybe too stubborn for my own good, joy to the world, peace on earth, & ((((((((((MANY WONDERFUL SISTERLY HUGGGGSSSS)))))))))), your still very sad and very terrified little sister, Barbie
"If I have to be this girl in me, Then I have the right to be."
|Reviewed by m j hollingshead