This is Story Seven in my 38 Stories Project.
Submitted By: Courtney Andrijich
Word Count: 500
Object: A Wish Stone
Character: The DJ
A choking hazard, plus we couldn’t afford them. But the wholesaler wouldn’t take them back and the name on the packing slip was Melinda Pierce. She left us a week earlier, slightly jaded, for a better gig at the Red Rooster drive through. We were stuck with them.
Wish stones, ten thousand pieces. Imitation moonstone, oily pearlescent on the surface, but pure plastic.
Candice stomps up the stairs in her skates with a handful proffered to me. Only Candice is allowed in my booth. With her too long uniform polo and her plaits and her braces.
‘Look.’ She’s captivating when angry. I remove my headphones.
‘What am I looking at?’
‘Wish stones. Mel ordered them for the party gift bags. Lawsuit waiting to happen. Frank already had to give one kid the Heimlich.’
‘Oh right, yeah, I heard. What happened to hand clappers and the whistles?’
‘She did it on purpose, spiteful cow. Remember what happened with the bouncy balls?!’
‘Oh well, you know, does it really matter?’
‘What do you mean?”
‘Well. Maybe spending all our time here makes us think these things are important when… you know.’
Her eyes are lasers. Like the ones I shoot from the booth when I play Roxette.
‘Look at this place. Look at us. Look at them.’
The disco ball throws rainbows across the rink. Sinead belts out Nothing Compares 2U. Fifty-three seconds left. I’ve lined up Peter Andre. Couples are holding hands, boys skate backwards like it’s an act of pure chivalry.
‘What about them?!’
‘Don’t you think maybe we all fixate on this place? Do children’s party bags matter? Isn’t there more than this? We should discuss it over a drink.’
She throws the stones at my head and one chips off a dial that changes Peter Andre to Ace of Base with jarring immediacy. The skaters don’t care.
I watch the booth door slam and a few seconds later she glides out below with a furious vigour that makes me want to take her out for Pizza Hut all you can eat.
I’m about to turn up the lights to announce a speed skate when I spot him. In the blue corner. Black t-shirt. Mouth full of Melody-Chup. His tight, sticky fists around… whatever it is he’s about to throw it.
He draws his arms back and I plunge for the house lights, hit the mic.
‘Code Black! Rink hazard!’
They fall like skittles. Wish stones jam wheels and crack into powder. Tight jeaned experts go down. Amateurs hold the rails and scream for their lives. I watch for a full fifteen seconds.
I push back my chair. Open the drawer. Remove the resignation letter that’s sat there for eight months, since the day Candice passed induction and I changed my mind. I open the crisp fold, date and sign.
I look at her one last time, spinning on her back like a turtle towards the purple corner. Then I get the hell out of there.
Thanks for reading.
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