Friday, June 10, 2011

A Novel Dime Story

A short story I wrote, triggered by a prompt on Six Minute Story. The prompt was "The dapper man picked up a penny." I cleverly begin the story with this phrase. I couldn't finish it in the designated six minutes; I got about six characters into the third paragraph. Typically, I would've abandoned it, but was encouraged to finish the fantastical tale. Stories not being my forte, I nevertheless offer the result here.

The dapper man picked up a penny and found a little hole. The hole was smaller than the penny, but larger than a dime. The man, dapper and penny-wise, bent down on dapper knees, head bowed, right eye squinting into the dime-sized hole.

"Dimes, dimes, dimes! Mole men flipping dimes, muddy mason jars tight with dimes!"

He wiggled his pinky in the pinky-sized hole. He framed his iris in the iris-sized hole. The dapper man could feel no dimes, could tickle no scalps of coin-jingling mole men.

He stood up, frustrated, ponderous. "Hey, Dan!" an angularly-coiffed woman spat from a passing car. He grimaced quickly, muttering inutterables.

The dapper man owned no tools, neither here nor home. He circled the tool-sized hole. With each step, he felt the weight of the world below, sensed shoulders grazing the ceiling beneath his shoes.

He sat on the curb and daydreamed of mole men walking their dime trails, leaving impressions of mole men hands and feet in the hills of dimes. He remembered that pin impression toy he'd press his face into at Spencer's, when he was a kid, when dimes possessed more value.

Or when he thought dimes possessed more value. But here he was, long past his lunch break, fishing for dimes, pressing his body against the city street. A soft obsession advanced, from which a garnering of distractions had begun to fill the silos of his desires.

The dapper man would never fit into the dime-sized hole. He wouldn’t buy or borrow a jackhammer. He wouldn’t pry off a manhole cover. He wouldn’t crack a Department of Environmental Protection worker on the head, steal his uniform and descend into the dime-stuffed depths of New York City Tunnel No. 3 where his confrontation with those greedy, light-sensitive mole men would end badly for them.

He wouldn’t count the dimes on his kitchen table.

The dapper man flipped the penny with his thumb and watched it tumble beyond his reach.

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