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 Category:  Mystery and Crime Fiction
  Posted: October 21, 2020      Views: 50

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You are enjoying another piece of writing penned by the NUMBER 5 RANKED SCRIPT WRITER OF THE YEAR FOR 2019!!!

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Incident at Morton's Broken Hope Jewelry and Pawn Shoppe
"Diamond" by Brett Matthew West

"It's happening tonight," I said.

That's when I'll tell the others the delightful events that happened today at the decayed Morton's Broken Hope Jewelry and Pawn Shoppe. The one found on the dim-lit corner of Little Elm and Hyacinth Street in the middle of Downtown Nowhere. Spider-webbed, the pane in the store's entrance door was as uninviting as the rest of the downtrodden structure. Fitting for what remained of a once vibrant neighborhood.

From my vantage point perusng the few iPods offered in the establishment, I noticed devastation branded into her soul. I knew not who she was but my gaze followed her as she strutted to the ancient shopkeeper perched behind the electronic cash register. Wasn't hard to tell the manufacturer of the product.

Making nervous chit-chat, the lady gave her name as Diamond. She proclaimed, "I've come to sell my most prized possession."

Intent on what I heard her tell the old coot, I meandered to the end of the jewelry counter and noticed a chunk was chipped out of its dingy tempered glass corner. I observed the display's pedestal legs and listened closer to the despondent woman.

With disheartened puppy dog eyes, she said, "I pulled this ring out the other day, but the diamond had lost its sparkle, just like my marriage, which is on the rocks. Guess that's what happens when your man screws anything that'll spread their legs. Wasn't nuttin but a teeny weenie no how. Too bad he didn't catch a little fever to make his hen scratcher fall off."

I could tell Diamond had a story that would once again confirm my belief pride is the chief cause in the decline in the numbers of husbands and wives. I'd once heard that observation so eloquently stated. I waited to see if she would share her tale of woe.

Before long the words tumbled out of her mouth. Choreographed, with each movement stylized, she declared, "I picked him up off the trash heap at Tomasina's Dry Gulch Saloon. Right after a broad who couldn't hold a candle to a worn out pair of crusty old sneakers dropped him. That's where sympathy gets you. Everyone told me the dirty hoity-toity was no good. But, would I believe them? No way. Not me. I just knew I could change him. We got hitched, and the first bun popped out of the oven. That was the beginning of his lowdown womanizing ways. But, like a damn fool, I forgave his infidelity and let his unfaithfulness slide right on past. However, this third time, I simply can't do that no more. You see, I didn't know he liked both flavors. Who I thought was an Erica turned out to be an Eric. I'm done. I'm so over him. That's why I came in here, to rid myself of this noose dangling 'round my neck and get on with my life."

The clerk seemed aloof. He lacked interest in what Diamond said. 'Twas almost like he couldn't be bothered. People like that danced on my last nerve, and I'm not a chick you wanna mess with. The eccentric codger needed a lesson in manners.

"Fifteen dollars and not one red cent more," he quoted her with a quick glance at the pristine two carat stone.

Crestfallen, and on the verge of crocodiles I didn't want to see spilled, Diamond mouthed, "Fifteen dollars? Is that all love is worth?"

His hand swept over the display case. Brusque, he demanded, "Are you blind? Can't you see I have a whole tray full of them?"

The jeweler's tone grabbed my attention. I sensed the environment was about to get coyote ugly in a monstrous way.

"Your numbers aren't making sense," I interjected into their conversation.

Belligerent, he scoffed and flashed me a jaunty salute with his extended middle finger, "That's my final offer. She can take the more than generous deal or leave my store the way she found it, with you in tow, titmouse."

Terminally pissed off, I registered on his radar when I told him, "I'm broke, homeless, strung out on meth, and have nothing to live for!"

Josiah, the name sewn on his shirt, breathed a heavy sigh. He rolled his narrow peepers in his gaunt face as if he couldn't care less about my plight. My shiny pistol pointed at his egg-shaped head. The snub-nosed Glock's barrel pressed tight against his grey temple.

I asked, "Do you? You pathetic pile of pig turds!"

The old man's withered hand trembled as he opened up his drawer, and for that diamond ring forked over five thousand more. A wise decision. Lucky for him the impertinent halfwit would live to see another sunrise. In haste, Diamond snatched the cash and scooted out the door.

With no place in particular to go, and all of eternity to get there, I strolled out of the pawn shop just in time to see Diamond frolic on the bus. She mouthed a fond thank you in my direction then headed to her new life. I wished her well and sauntered back to my resting spot in the Spring Hill Cemetery. Like the Artful Dodger of Dickens' fame, who I knew well in another realm, a hard-working ghost's tasks are never done.

This Sentence Starts The Story contest entry

Author Notes
Phantom (XXVII), by Sean T Phelan, selected to complement my story.

So, thanks Sean T Phelan, for the use of your picture. It goes so nice with my story.

Sean T Phelan is not a nit. He did not place a . after the T so neither did I.

Pays one point and 2 member cents. Artwork by Sean T Phelan at

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