I waited impatiently after shoving my quarter into the slot. After all, she’d never been wrong before. I heard the coin tumbling through the mechanism, finally striking the empty metal container below.
Suddenly, her world-in-a-box came alive. Her arms moved spastically, her hand lingering over first one card then another before her index finger stopped over the death card. The same card, every time. I felt her marble eyes glaring at me.
My buddies guffawed loudly, and playfully punched my arms. “Oh man, you’re gonna die, Frankie,” teased my shift partner, Irv Finnegan.
“Yeah, right,” I said. “Let’s go, guys. The Sarge will be looking for us.”
“Hey,” said Irv. “Cops gotta eat, too. We can’t help it if we like boardwalk food. Besides, I think Freddie here has the hots for that plaster gypsy.” He pointed to the animated fortune teller in her now darkened booth. The time I’d bought with my twenty-five cents was up.
I wondered if Patty, my ex-wife, would ever forgive me for the curse. Probably not. She hated that box. Too bad. She shouldn’t have cheated on me.
I twirled my nightstick in a wide loop as I walked away, whistling.
* It was nearly one year ago when we ran our first 200 word short story contest. The next contest is just around the corner. Check back for details. You won’t want to miss this one!
By the way, the story above is mine. The real entries are always much better. You guys can really write!