The Speakeasy #137 ~ COINS



The lights dim and the white screen comes to life. You mute your cell and settle back with your bag of buttered popcorn. The only day of the year you go to the movies. It has become a tradition now. Oh, plenty of friends invite you over… some feel sorry, some want to fix you up with their girlfriends, and then there’s her folks. You politely decline.

“Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel sorry for myself, I just like to be alone, and watch the latest holiday movie about fictional families doing what real families do, just maybe a little more outrageously. I’ll go home and have a turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce later, I picked one up at Katz’s Delicatessen yesterday.”

You had both been in a pretty bad place when you met. The church basement at Seventh and Pine was a comforting place, you started sitting together. You were told it wasn’t a good idea to form relationships within the group, you thought it was helping.

“I remember when I got my ninety day coin. She got her two month. We celebrated at Katz’s with coffee, pastrami sandwiches, and cheesecake. We kept collecting coins and fell in love.”

You watch the film and cringe when the drinking starts. You still don’t know what made her think she could have just one, and after three years sober. You never saw her again after that Thanksgiving. Everyone was at a loss. Occasionally you hear that someone has caught sight of her.

“Maybe I’ll go tonight. I go to my meetings at the YMCA now, I just couldn’t go back to 7th and Pine. From that day forward, every time I drove past that street corner, I thought of her.”


THE SPEAKEASY… Check out the other writers… Write something yourself!

Here are the Editor’s instructions: This week our sentence prompt, provided by last week’s winner Courtney at IASoupMama, must be used as the LAST line in your piece. And in honour of the coming holiday, our media prompt this week is a video, which you will find below.  As with all our media prompts, your post shouldn’t be about the video, but you must make some sort of reference to it in your submission.

“From that day forward, every time I drove past that street corner, I thought of her.”

42 responses

  1. Enjoyed the story Ted, although my heart is breaking. Reminded me of Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick in “The Days Of Wine and Roses”. Nicely written. Loved the movie clip!

    1. Thanks, Betty. I’ve seen clips, but never the movie. I’m not a big fan of sad movies. I don’t know if I’d watch this one, it looks kind of silly, but it’s an early one for Claire Daines and I love her.

  2. oh boy. this was hard to read because of how sad it is. and sadly, I know it’s a story that many people really live.

    1. Thank you, Christina… yes it is ongoing.

  3. Great story – so sad! I’m with Betty – reminded me a bit of that Jack Lemmon movie as well. Well done, Ted!

  4. How sad. Wonder if he may just go home to his folks too, for some happy Thanksgivings.

    1. I imagined he had no family of his own. Thanks, I loved your story.

  5. Good short story. OMG, the movie clip…

  6. ted, that was heart wrenching, I could feel his pain, great story
    thanks my friend I appesch

  7. As you know I struggle with alcohol myself. I’m collecting my coins and hoping to write a new love story for myself too. I hope mine ends more happily than this one did though. Great story. Really great.

    1. It will, Renee. Thanks.

  8. Ted, this was a great read! You totally nailed the prompts. The story flowed easily, and the writing was both real and nostalgic without trying too hard. Loved it!

    1. High praise, Karen… thank you.

  9. This was a touching (and sad story.) How sad that she just disappeared and left him not knowing.

    1. I’m glad you got that, JannaT… that’s what I was going for.

  10. Well written and touching !

  11. I saw the movie Ted, good one

  12. Betty, I loved The Days of Wine and Roses, Great Movie and Very Sad how Lee Remick couldn’t get it together in the end

  13. I hope you have a Wonderful Holiday Ted, Take Care

    1. You too, Aggie… glad you came by.

  14. This is fantastic Ted! Love the narrator’s voice and I love the open-ended mystery of what happened to “her” – great use of the prompts sir!

    Also, you should definitely watch Home for the Holidays. It’s silly sometimes, but it’s also very real and can be quite touching.

    1. Thanks, Suzanne… I’m glad you liked this one. I was experimenting with first and second voice… I’d like to think I’m Rod Serling sometimes. Okay… I’ll watch the movie.

  15. This one made my heart hurt a little. Which means you were successful 🙂 Great story!

    1. Thank you Kianwi… your story was hilarious!

  16. How sad! I wonder what happened to her :(. Good job on the second voice. I never feel like I can pull it off.

    1. I’ve always been fascinated by second voice… It’s kind of hard to do and make believable or like it belongs, I think. Thanks Stacie.

  17. So poignant, so sad. The demon of alcoholism lurking to snatch one back again. I was hoping for a reunion but this is real… Wonderful Ted.
    Elizabeth, Speakeasy Participant.

    1. Thanks Elizabeth, lurking to snatch one back again… pretty good description.

  18. Thanks Elizabeth, lurking to snatch one back again… pretty good description.

  19. Hit’s home. Bill W. and I have become good friends over the last year.


    1. Be sure to keep him close. Thanks, Danny.

  20. Interesting to think how being alone could be easier and harder for someone like the guy in this piece. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Easier and harder, that sums it up, Kristin. Thanks for reading.

  21. I love how this resonates, and you wove such a deep backstory in so concisely. A beautiful piece!

    1. That is so nice to hear… thank you, Justice.

  22. Amazing what you were able to say in so few words. You feel his pain now and you get the backstory.

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