Send in the Clowns Pt 1
“Look, Mike!” Kay said as she picked up the wooden music box. It had two long drawers on its front side, and doors that opened on each side. Orange carnival glass sent rays of light from the side doors. She pulled on the lid but it would not budge. She flipped it over, awestruck that the antique store had such a perfect item to sell. She carried it to the counter and set it down. The shopkeeper smiled at Kay then seemed to shrink when she saw the music box. Kay pulled on the lid again to show the woman the lid would not open.
“Has a ballerina inside, plays Send in the Clowns,” the woman said, the gap from her missing front teeth causing a lisp. She reminded Kay of the gypsies that came to town twice a year for the carnivals.
“Why won’t it open?”
“It special. Will open for you at home once set in the perfect place.” The shopkeeper’s eyes avoided looking directly at the music box. Kay noticed but did not say anything about it. She turned the music box around in her hands again.
“Well, how much is it?”
“For you, it one dollar.”
“For one dollar, I suppose it doesn’t really matter if the top ever opens or not. You’ve got a deal.” She passed the box to Mike and handed the woman a crisp, new bill.
“It will work. It always does,” the woman sighed as she opened the cash register. “Enjoy. It’s yours now.” She pointed to a small sign in front of the register. No returns, it said in bold black print. The woman looked at an invisible watch on her wrist and walked to the door. She flipped the sign from open to close. “You must go now. Store closed.”
Once outside, Mike and Kay turned around and looked at the shop with confusion.
“But, it’s the middle of the afternoon. The sign says its open until four.” Mike said.
The shopkeeper shrugged her shoulders through the glass and brought pinched fingers to her lips before turning and walking away.
“I guess it’s lunchtime. At least we got this treasure before she closed up. C’mon. Let’s go home.” Kay sighed.
“And if it doesn’t open?”
Kay cast a long glance over her shoulder. “She said it would when we got it home and put it in the perfect place. And I know exactly where to put it.” She rubbed her palms against her thighs in anticipation of the challenge.
To be continued…
This week’s Master Class assignment came from the 10th line on the 100th page of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonflight. It was to be used to begin or end the story. The line is: “She rubbed her palms against her thighs in anticipation of the challenge.” I used it to end this piece.
I am also linking this up with #FridayFlash (even though it’s Tuesday) because I haven’t linked up to them in a while and they have been really supportive anyway.
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