by Qner almost 4 years ago
"Tis a penny," said he, and bent to retrieve the copper coin from the sidewalk. Holding it between gloved finger and thumb, he inspected the date with a squinting eye and dropped it into his vest pocket.
"Aye, twy twirrly twee, a penny's enough fer you an' me," he sang and performed a pirouette for the passerby.
A woman, richly attired and ambling along with an aristocratic gate, stopped to consider the man as he continued to spin in circles. A member of the upper crust, she lacked that innate mechanism, honed by the lower classes, which steered one away from the odd and eccentric.
The man, still twirling, saw the woman and fell dizzily to a knee in front of her, hands outstretched.
"Tis a day like any other, with the sun, the sky and breeze. I'll give you, ma'am, a pretty penny if you open up your pretty knees."
The woman reared back as though she's walked through the wrong door and happened upon something lewd and grotesque. Her expression betrayed a desire to close that door safely behind her and flee, combined with the panic of realizing there was no door to close.
The man reached into his pocket and produced the penny, as if proving its existence were the only thing stopping his proposed transaction.
And there it was. Stopped in her tracks by such crudity, she had no response, nothing to draw upon to brush aside so simple a roadblock. Finally, she mustered, "I have an appointment to keep."
The man stood and doffed his hat with a flourish. "I'll not stop such a lovely sight. But perhaps in the alley we'll meet tonight." He winked and then ran away down the street.
That night was as chilly as she could recall. Was this the alley he'd suggested? She couldn't be sure.