Twisted Economics

I was broke and I didn’t care anymore.

I had nothing left but a handful of crumpled dollar bills, some spare change, and a phone number. I was indifferent to the world around me, to the downpour that soaked my worn clothing, and the world cared naught for me in return.

Nevertheless, I gripped at my thin jacket protecting me from the wind. The number had been called yesterday and the last of my money would pay to make things right.

There was a tap on my shoulder. I turned to see a man — a boy, really — dressed in a dark suit and hidden under a black umbrella. “Tommy!”

“Do you have the cash?” he asked. He stared at me, expectantly.

“Oh, yeah!” I fumbled in my pockets to pull out the singles and count up the change. “$19.74,” I offered. “Oh, and a quarter from my sock!” I dug out the silver and handed it all to him two-fisted.

He looked at my meager offering. “This isn’t enough for half an 8-ball! Are you crazy, old man?”

“I’m good for it, kiddo!” I pleaded.

He sighed. “Yeah, I suppose you are, Dad.”

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