Projects > Story-of-the-Day > money
MoneyRalph pointed between a confection stand and a game of chance where your up to win a goldfish. "Joe! There's a fortune teller between these two. You want to try it? You always go for this woo-woo stuff."
Joe pushed a few bags of candy floss aside and entered the tattered tent. It was dark inside.
A voice came out of the darkness. "Have a seat, Joe."
Ralph, who was just entering the tent, answered back immediately. "Oi! How do you know his name?"
The fortune teller lit a candle, making just her face visible. "Well, it doesn't take a mind reader or psychic. I heard you yelling it out there before you two walked in." She watched as Joe sat down. "So, Joe. What is that you really want?"
"Well, I usually hear about something that's going to happen. Like I'll find a better job or get a girlfriend. And that's all good and nice. But if I'm to be honest, what would be really helpful is just a whole bunch of money. The jobs and mates will come from that."
The fortune teller stared into Joe's eyes. "I hear you." She remained motionless, saying nothing for several seconds. "It is done, but with a condition. Tomorrow when you wake, you will have an additional fifty billion pounds." She paused. "However, if one day a person knocks on the entrance of your home three times, then all of your fortune will disappear." She snapped, and the candle went out.
Ralph snorted. "Pffft. What a bunch of bollocks. Come on, Joe. Let's get out of this loony's tent."
Joe also spoke up. "Uh, yeah. Can you explain what you mean a bit more?"
But there would be no more response. Joe and Ralph walked out of her tent and spent the rest of their night at a pub.
Joe woke at 11:30AM. As he prepared his morning cuppa, Ralph came out of his room. "Mornin'", Joe said. He picked up his phone and sat to drink his tea. "I was thinking of ordering that 'Cards Against Humanity' game. What'd you think?"
Ralph grunted, not yet awake enough to properly form sentences.
"Yeah, okay then. Let me just check and see how much I have at the bank. I don't remember how many pints I ordered last might." He opened his bank's app and promptly dropped his mug when he saw his balance. "Oi! Look at this." Joe's eyes widened as he shook his finger up and down in excitement trying to point at his phone's screen. "That woman! That fortune teller. It's what she said! Look here."
"Oh, come on. You're joking with me. Surely-"
Then there was a knock at the door. Then a second. Both Joe and Ralph's pupils dilated. Joe ran to the door and opened the door just in time.
"Hello. You're on our list as not having a TV and I'm here to check if that is still the case. Do you mind if I come in?"
Joe's adrenaline was pumping. "No, not now. We have no TV. Leave us alone." He shut the door.
Joe pulled the door open. "Look, we don't have TVs but I will pay whatever you want. Just please do NOT knock on this door." Joe pulled out his billfold and let the tax enforcer write down his information. He closed the door and turned around to look for Ralph. "We need to do something about this door. With my luck we'll get bloody trick or treaters now in the middle of March."
Ralph came walking in with a couple of screwdrivers and a hammer. "Way ahead of you." People stared as the two took the front door of its hinges.
"There," Joe said confidently. "It had to be done."
A burly man with a flannel shirt had watched Joe take the door off it's hinges, and now spoke up. "That was some real craftsmanship there. I saw you cover the hinges with tape when you sprayed the lube on the pin. If you're looking for work, I could use somebody like you on my team."
"Actually, I'm not sure what I'm going to be doing. I've had a recent change of circumstance."
The man walked up and handed Joe his card. "Well, call me up if you're interested." Joe watched as he walked away, then turned and yelled inside. "Ralph, you'll never believe what-"
A few hours later and Joe had setup a chair in the spot where his door had previously been. He placed his laptop on a small table stand and was trying to figure out what he should do. He was looking at a page with islands for sale in the Bahamas and didn't notice as she walked up.
"Uh, excuse me. What is that you're doing?"
Joe looked up and a young woman wearing a black leather outfit with a pink scarf was looking at him. Joe blushed. "Oh, just camping here not that my door is gone. Making plans."
She smiled and laughed. "Well you look absolutely ridiculous. Like you've gone off your rocker."
"Maybe it'd help if I wasn't alone. You want me to set you up with a chair here?"
The woman looked incredulously at him, then broke. "The name is Donna Taylor." She walked forward shook his hand. "And sure, this is completely mental, but I'll sit here too. What are we doing?"
"Okay, guard the door and I'll go get you a chair." Joe ran in.
"Guard the door? Are we being attacked?"
A couple of hours later and both Joe and Donna were looking sternly at the laptop's monitor. Donna sat back, "Ok, so you move to the Caribbean and live in a home without doors. Are you really going to be happy there all alone?"
Joe looked up at Donna. "Well, maybe I can find somebody to come with me. Do you know any-"
"Sold! Ok, so it's set. Now what are you going to do about the missing door here. It's just getting dark. How about we cover it with plastic?"
"That's not half bad. Can't knock on plastic, can you?"
The two walked back into the kitchen to retrieve a few rolls of wrap. That's when they both heard a knock at the front. They both frozen and looked each other.
Then another knock.
"No!" Joe yelled as he quickly ran to the foyer just in time to hear a third knock.
There standing at the threshold was the fortune teller. Smiling.
Joe looked at her. "You knocked on the trim there. It's not a proper knock if there isn't a door."
"I told you the entrance. There was no talk about a door.” She looked at the opening. “But nice thinking anyway."
Joe's face turned white. He quickly ran to his laptop and signed into his bank's website. It was back down to a few tenners. He looked back at the fortune teller. "But why? Why did you give me this money and then take it away?"
"I asked what it is you wanted. You asked for money as a tool to get you a job and a partner." Joe just stood staring at her. She started to turn around. "Oh, and you better be putting your door back up. It will be quite nippy tonight and you won't want to pay the heating bill like this."