Ben Van Dongen
Chad sat at a scarred counter, behind bulletproof glass. The pawn shop was empty and he was on the verge of beating his Joust high score, on his phone. His boss, Mr. T, was in the back office doing the day’s banking, and probably, he thought, some blow.
“Hard-on!” Mr. T’s yell was accompanied by a bang, crash, and swearing.
“I pity the fool who calls me Hard-on.” Chad ignored the continuing swearing that grew louder.
“Cut that shit out.”
Chad put one hand up, the other was furiously tapping his phone screen. “Don’t call me Hard-on and I won’t point out that you go by the name of an 80s icon.”
The owner of the pawn shop was perpetually sweaty. Thick black, sweaty, body hair poked through his t-shirt. Even his voice was greasy.
“Put that damn thing down. You responsible for that coin on my desk?” Mr. T swatted at Chad’s phone, but missed. Spit flew from his mouth and he pointed to his office.
Sad digital music played from the phone as the last ostrich-rider died.
“Come on T, I was going for the high score.”
“This is serious, little shit. The coin, on my desk.” Mr. T wiped his brow with a dirty handkerchief.
Chad pocketed his phone and swiveled to face his boss. “Yeah. Some super old, jacked-up, dude brought it in this morning.” Continue reading