To the question of having ever tossed a coin in a fountain, Billy’s answer is definitely. The first penny Billy ever tossed in the fountain at the mall, he just let roll off his finger tip. Plunk. A splash of the overly chlorinated fountain water jumped up and got the back of his hand wet. He watched the penny rapidly twist and drift back and forth in the water before coming to rest on the bottom.
His older sister laughed. “Nice toss, runt. Did you make a wish?”
Billy didn’t like this at all. He had forgot to make a wish. “I forgot.”
So, he decided he would climb in the fountain and retrieve the penny as a do-over. He got one leg up on the concrete wall when his collar was jerked sharply.
His mom was a card-carrying member of the Anti-Fun Society – they even held meetings once a month in the kitchen of their home to practice their fun crushing scowls and how to tap a ruler in their palms just right and magically turn smiles upside-down – and she had caught him before he could get his penny back. Billy started to cry. (His sneakers, no doubt, rejoiced.)
It would be many, many years before Billy recovered from the traumatic stress of this life-shattering ordeal.
On the day he finally worked up enough courage to try his hand at coin tossing again, he took a quarter out of his pocket, loaded that sucker up between his thumb and forefinger and threw it, spinning, across the surface of the fountain. The quarter skipped, once, twice, thrice, ripped through an aquatic plant scattering several newly trimmed leaves, jumped, ricocheted off the escalators, and tumbled crazily into an ugly strange piece of metal art. Dink!
The dent could be plainly seen even from where Billy stood. A few strangers scowled at him. He shrugged. His wish had come true. His coin had skipped across the fountain rather than just plunk.
Copyright © 2014 Eric Schweitz