The Red Ticket

By
Based on a dream…


Molly was the type of girl who woke at 6 am just to make a fresh batch of oatmeal, held the door open for the doorman and would say “keep the change” when she bought her coffee.

She lived a normal life, whatever the meaning of normal is. She went to work, came home, had dinner alone and played with her less than normal looking cat. But this day was unlike all the others. Her normal walk home from work was not so normal anymore.

This snowy March night brought steam up from the hot and slushy streets, which she tried to avoid with her green rain boots she bought in Chinatown two weeks before. Her fast pace was unintentionally slowed down by a lit up faux Indian accessory store with rows of jewelry in the window. She mocked the idea in her head for even being mildly interested but then realized that her wallet was indeed of faux Indian nature. But what caught Molly’s eye was a simple metal necklace. Sure she knew it was not made with original craftsmanship but the thin bronze chain and circle pendant entranced her with branch like limbs extending out to delicately touch the edge. It was beautiful, in her eyes. Seeing herself in the reflection of the dusty window, Molly could picture going about her normal day wearing this piece of jewelry.

The Christmas bells rang as she opened the door. The smell of incense hit her like a bowling ball in a strike. A woman turned around with artificially black colored hair and almond shaped eyes that pierced her soul. “Can I help you?” said the mysterious woman as if a director cued her in. “Yes, I would like to inquire about the necklace in the window” she said anxiously. In a raspy voice, “Which one honey.” “Oh the one with the circle with…” The woman cut Molly off. “Ah the luck necklace! Yes it is a favorite among people like you.” She walks over to the display window and picks up the necklace as if it were rehearsed. Molly had no idea how much the luck necklace cost but suddenly felt as if it were a necessity. The mysterious woman noticed this and said, “Cash only honey” and wrote down the price of the item on a small red ticket. Molly slipped the ticket into her coat pocket without glancing at the numbers and rapidly walked to the bank on the corner to get the cash that the woman had requested.

“Hi, I would like to make a withdrawal,” said Molly. “How much do you need miss” the bank teller replied obviously exhausted. She took the small red ticket out of her pocket to see how much she needed. The price read three hundred and fifty dollars. Astonished, Molly though for a minute. The bank teller stood perplexed at her delayed reaction. “I’m going to need three hundred and fifty dollars,” she said hesitantly. “Three hundred and fifty dollars?” He exclaimed incredulously. Molly thought again for a minute and about the necklace, the price and the mysterious woman. “Wait, I don’t need anything. I’m sorry.”

Molly walked back to the store, which seemed farther away this time. She felt bad for wasting this woman’s time and wanted to apologize. That was her nature.

She walked into the store and said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize how much this luck necklace was going to cost. I’m sorry I wasted you time. I don’t think I will be taking it. Thank you for your time.” The woman’s almond eyes seemed to pierce her soul even more than before. She looked her up and down then said, “Since when do you put a price on luck?”

The Christmas bells rang again for the last time as she left the faux Indian store and Molly returned to her “normal life”.





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