Wednesday, October 3, 2012


"Please, please, no!" He slammed his hand against the ATM, fingers scrabbling at the money slot, digging hopelessly for the colorful currency well beyond his reach. He snatched another card from his wallet, shaking as he tried to orient it correctly, shoving against the resisting maw, knees bending with the effort. The machine finally sucked in the card and he fumbled his way through the many verification screens, sounding out the questions as he searched his brain for correct answers in a barely familiar language. At the PIN screen he froze, not even sure which card he'd used, then helplessly tapped in a series of numbers, knowing they were no good.

Again and again he tried, littering the ground with credit cards, debit cards, even a membership card to a museum back home. Finally he gave up, turning and sliding hopelessly down until he crouched at the base of the machine in a yellow-orange puddle of streetlight. He stared past a dripping dumpster at the phone booth across the street, then down at the depleted phone card in his hand. It was a collectible, worth hundreds in that obscure market, and he would have given anything to sell it for cash right then. Cash he could use to call his father, dying abruptly four thousand miles away.

As prompted by Nightmare Fuel

1 comment:

  1. What have you been reading, girl? Nightmares indeed!

    Keep up the tactile modifiers. Dept store landscape is good, and dripping dumpsters is alliterative and visual -even odiferous. Good work! Yucky.