Frankie’s Take

But I thought I could have three of them, Sally said, shifting and tilting her head slightly. Three. She held up three fingers. There was a quiet as the mist rose up over the graveyard.

No, I never said that. Frankie looked at her and then back to his sandcastle made of dirt. No, it’s always been two. Sally raised her shovel over his sand castle. Don’t do that, he said.

I will, she said. She felt her mouth stretch into a grin. You never helped me, Frankie! Never! She toppled dirt spires and flattened dirt parapets. Frankie stood and watched her, getting sprayed with dirt as she swung the heavy shovel wildly. Then he took hold of it but she was ready for him and they wrestled, both gripping the shovel tight. They pushed and pulled until she slipped and Frankie was over her, forcing the handle toward her neck. You always make me overdo things, he said.

The wood of the shovel was just touching her throat when at the last second she gave him a vicious kick to the leg and twisted the shovel out of his grasp. She yanked the shovel free and gave his head a sound whack with the blade. He slipped and fell right down into the open grave. As he lay there she shoveled and shoveled furiously until he was covered.

As the sky took on light she was still shoveling, finally patting down the mound when the 8:15 could be heard blowing its whistle on its way into the city.

Sally was on the next train, her dirty hands deep in the pockets of her coat. When the porter asked for a ticket she said, No, ma-am, I have no ticket. But I have lots and lots of money. How much you want? And she grinned her grin, holding out a handful of Frankie’s take. The porter glanced over his shoulder before taking the whole handful.

Can I have your ticket please? he asked the next passenger, further down the car. Tickets please!




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