20090924

A Penny Saved

by Laurita Miller

She wipes the tables of coffee circles and spilled sugar, collecting the pennies and nickels left there for her service. Through the window she sees the students walking to and from campus, serious and focused. Sometimes they come in and sit in groups, talking about parties and papers over their café macchiatos. Others sit alone, sipping from large mugs of cider or flavoured lattes, hunched over thick books, and she imagines the wealth contained within those pages. They all leave their coins upon the ring patterned tables, and with their heads filled with theories and formulas and ambitions they rush off for the next class. Only 628,418 more pennies until she can join them.

6S

Laurita Miller likes shiny things and also things that come in sixes. Her work can be found in a few places including Gloom Cupboard, Flashes in the Dark, and the upcoming Harbinger*33.

18 comments:

Christian Bell said...

That number of pennies is just depressing.

I like the character here. She has an inner life that is much more than the job she is doing.

Nice depiction of the coffee shop. Good details.

Anonymous said...

Setup for the character is perfect and the ending poignant. Without hitting the reader over the head you've conjured the image so clearly.

Kx.

Erin Cole said...

I love dreamers and the way you set up this piece - lots of great details too!

Michael Solender said...

this tiny piece speaks volumes to the determination of many trapped in service jobs who are forced to dream in terms of "pennies" in their struggle to get ahead. very strong and telling write. purty darn good for a newfie.

peggy said...

I loved the optimism of the last line. Great pay-off.

Paul Brazill said...

Lovely, Laurita. A gold nugget, indeed.

Erin said...

Very cute. Well-written. Interesting. I felt as if I were the character, if only for a moment.

Joe said...

Laurita never fails in her writing and always delivers a solid story. Just wonderful to see your story and name here this morning. The story works on so many levels seen and unseen. Excellence.

Absolutely*Kate said...

Sweeter than café macchiato rings are the swirls of success you superbly set up, Laurita ~ Dreams, goals and ambitions are fruitions on both sides of a well-yearned window.

Your soft phrases to sweep this tale in six ~ I'd say 'priceless', but you coined them better. Your own writing successes shall always harbinger well. ~ Absolutely*Kate

Sheryl said...

Just beautiful!

Angel Zapata said...

Beautifully done, Laurita. I can empathize with her. I'm still saving my pennies.

Barry J. Northern said...

You've captured the feeling of hope-filled jealously when one sees a group of people doing what you most dearly desire. Living in a world you want to be part of but can't quite reach. Well done.

Bernard S. Jansen said...

Peggy (above) said she liked the optimism in the last line. I agree - it's great - but I'd prefer to call it 'faith' rather than 'optimism'. Good example of the Stockdale Paradox.

quin browne said...

yes, an excellent payoff-- thanks.

Crybbe666 said...

Laurita, a great job. Although the number of pennies is staggering, her optimism for the future is wonderful. A wonderful character!!

David said...

I've always wondered how university porters and cleaners feel about their jobs. With such brevity you have captured the emotion, desire and wonder.

Thank you.

Clowncar said...

Nice.

Particularly fond of the phrase "ring patterned tables."

janet said...

Amazing! Made my heart jump a bit.