Nickel

nickelI was once challenged … either by a teacher or a contest, I can’t remember which … to write a three wishes story. This is what I came up with. I think it still needs a little work, but is a fun read anyway.


She slips her final nickel into the one-armed bandit. She pulls the arm. Cherry. Lemon. Plum. Her nickel falls back out.

“Phew! Am I glad to be out of there!”

“Who said that?” She looks around and sees no one. She shrugs her shoulders and picks up her nickel.

“Hey! That tickles!”

“What? Who said that?”

People nearby look at her and go on with their gambling.

“Me. Who else?”

“Who? I don’t see anyone.” This time she whispers.

“The nickel in your hand, stupid!”

“The nickel? But money can’t talk!”

“Wishing nickels can.”

“Wishing nickels?”

“Yeah! You can now make three wishes, on me.”

“Yeah. Right. There is no such thing as a wishing nickel.”

“Sure there is. I’ll prove it to you. Wish for the jackpot, put me in the machine and you’ll win the jackpot. What have you got to loose? You were going to spend me anyway. Go ahead.”

She stares at the nickel incredulously and then puts it into the slot machine. She pulls the arm. Bar. Bar. Bar. Nickels start pouring out of the machine. She screams and hurriedly starts stuffing the nickels into her purse.

Finally the money-fall stops. She stuffs the remaining coins into her purse, keeping an ear out for her wishing nickel.

“He was right. He was a wishing nickel. But where is he? I still have two wishes left.”

After a moments deliberation, she starts putting her recently won nickels back into the machine. She wins some and she looses some, but the wishing nickel doesn’t show.

Finally, two hours and a jackpot full of nickels later, she puts in her last nickel. She pulls the arm. Cherry. Lemon. Bar. A nickel falls out.

“Thought I was never going to get out of there. What took you so long to pull the arm. And where’s the rest of the money?”

“I spent them all trying to get you back.” She says with bile.

“Oh. I’m sorry.”

“What happened? I thought you were going to come out with the rest of the jackpot.”

“I was. But I have neglected to tell you something.”

“What is it?”

“I’m kind of new at the wishing nickel business. I’m still just a rookie. I might have made a slight error in my calculations. I’m sorry.”

“Sorry? You mess up, make me loose a wish and a jackpot, and you say you’re sorry!”

“O.K., O.K. I promise I’ll make it up to you on your next two wishes.”

“You won’t mess up this time?”

“No.”

“O.K. I want a jackpot again. And this time I want you to be in the jackpot!”

“No problema.”

She repeats what she had done previously — including the part where the wishing nickel doesn’t come out with the jackpot.

Frustrated, she proceeds to put her jackpot nickels back into the bandit. This time, she only spends half of it before the wishing nickel comes back out.”

“I think I’m getting the hang of this now.”

“You little turd!”

“What did I do wrong this time?”

“I had to spend half of my winnings in order to get you back!”

“Oh. I’m sorry.”

“Sorry doesn’t cut it.”

“Well, look on the bright side. This time you got to keep at least half of your winnings.”

“Big deal. I want all of my winnings!”

“O.K. I think I’ve got it now. Put me back in.”

“It doesn’t matter now. This is my final wish.”

“Well then, you know I can’t go wrong. Even if I don’t come back out, you’ll still have your jackpot.”

“Hey, that’s right.” She cheerfully puts the nickel back into the machine. She pulls the arm. Cherry. Plum. Lemon. The nickel falls back out.

“What happened?”

“I forgot to tell you. You only had a limited time in which to make your three wishes, and your time ran out just before you put me back in the machine. Sorry. Oh, and could you put be back in the machine? So I can be found by some other lucky person?”

She looks at the nickel. A mischievously evil grin darts across her face. She starts walking away with the nickel still in her hand.

“Hey! Wait! Where are you taking me?”

She walks into the ladies’ room. Goes into a stall. She looks at the coin again, and dangles it above the toilet.

“Good-bye.”

“Wait! Don’t! I’ll do anything you . . . . gurgle. Gurgle.”

Flush.