“Charms”

The sound of quarters dropping into the washing machine at the Laundromat. Things would be clean. The click of my mother’s pocketbook opening. Things would be paid for. She tossed her purse into the front seat. We traveled. A man in a midnight suit, starched shirt, narrow black tie. He patted me on the head and took a dollar from my wallet. Dinah Washington’s voice on the jukebox didn’t sooth. Mom wanted to buy painted scarves from museum gift shops. Her hand gripped the faux crocodile handle of her luggage. Mechanics can never be charmed, but at least she tried.

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Grant Faulkner

About Grant Faulkner

Grant Faulkner is the executive director of National Novel Writing Month and the co-founder of 100 Word Story (100wordstory.org). His stories and essays have appeared in The Southwest Review, The New York Times, Poets & Writers, PANK, Gargoyle, eclectica, Puerto del Sol, the Berkeley Fiction Review, and Word Riot, among others. He's currently finishing a collection of one hundred 100-word stories, Fissures.