The Pawn Shop
Arthur Stone enters a pawn shop with a box of his wife’s things in his arms. An unexpected encounter leads him to question his recent actions.
An electric buzzer sounded as Arthur Stone pushed the glass door of Al’s Pawn Shop open with his hip. He carried a box large enough to block his view, and he craned his neck around to see where he was going. The smell of stale coffee and something moldy hit his nostrils, like it had on his previous visits, and he tried breathing through his mouth. The store was too bright, fluorescent light mixing with the morning sunshine streaming through the front window, bouncing off the glass cases and shiny objects that lined the walls.
“Hey there,” he said to the kid behind the counter…
A woman meets a stranger in a bar and comes to terms with an old scar
I haven’t been sleeping lately. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve moved into a new condo and the strangeness of it me awake, if it’s bad dreams, or if I’m just getting to that age where sleep no longer comes easily or stays all night. I had a bout of insomnia once before, but that was years ago.
It’s starting to make me feel crazy, this lack of sleep. I walk around in a constant daze, no matter how much coffee I guzzle. I bump into things, and bruises have started to appear. Last week I thought I saw a man on the tiny deck off my living room but when I looked again I only saw the sagging geranium and dusty yoga mat that are always there. Does a lack of sleep make you hallucinate?
These are the thoughts floating through my mind as I sit at a tall table in the back of a crowded bar waiting for a man I’ve never met. I look down at my phone to check the time – ten minutes late already. I’m not sure what I expected. I take a sip of my Pinot Grigio and wonder if I should have come at all.