“I really don’t know,” Liza said.
The clock ticked, slicing the silence into slivers.
“Yeah.” Crystal put her tumbler down on the glass coaster.
Its soft “clink” suddenly irritated Liza. Glass coasters! Stupid, round, pressed-“crystal” things that her Aunt Sue had given her as an engagement present!
What would happen if she picked up the whole stupid stack of the stupid things and sent them hurling into the plate glass of the picture window? One by one – Crash! Smash! Ker-chunk!
But she didn’t.
“Would you like -” No. She couldn’t chuck Aunt Sue’s stupid glass coasters into the front yard through the picture window, but damned if she was going to sit there, politely plying Crystal with iced tea while the woman dissected Liza’s pathetic existence.
“I should get going,” she said. “So if you don’t mind…”
Crystal gaped up at her for a moment, then shut her perfectly lip-sticked mouth with an audible snap.
“I thought you said you didn’t know…”
“Yes, well.” Liza picked up Crystal’s tumbler. “That doesn’t mean I don’t have things to do and places to go.”
She didn’t – but she wasn’t going to tell her cousin that.
It spun silently in a circle, glittering with reflected sunlight, gently swaying in the wind. The tree branches rustled softly above it.
Samara stretched out her hand carefully.
“It’s so beautiful!” she whispered. Her finger reached; moved closer and closer to the sparkling crystal dropping from the main orb; made contact.
A glassy tinkling sound, sweet and sharp, filled the air, and the orb flashed up with a myriad pinpricks of rainbow hues.
Samara snatched back her finger.
“I’d be careful with that if I were you,” her brother said drily.
“Yes, well, you aren’t me, are you!” Samara snapped. Her disappointment sat like a bruise in her chest.
A short fiction fragment that happened on a Friday:
The ring felt heavy, smooth, and cold. It lay on her palm like a dead weight, gleaming up at her dully. How could she have borne this lump of metal on her finger all these years?
“So, you gonna trade it, or what?” the pawn broker’s voice cawed into her thoughts.
She looked up.
“That’s what I came here for, didn’t I.” The ring clicked on the marble surface of the counter.
“Three silver,” cawed the broker.
“No,” she said, all business now. “I’ll take – that.“