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A Penny For Your Thoughts?: Darn corporations and their overpricing.
Posted by Isaac, May 22, 2008. 3470 views. ID = 1326

A Penny For Your Thoughts?

Posted by Isaac, May 22, 2008. 3470 views. ID = 1326
This post was written in 74 minutes.
This post has been awarded 55 stars by 15 readers.

"A penny for your thoughts?" he asks the girl behind the counter.

"Very funny, like I haven't heard THAT one before," she says, smiling wearily. "What'll it be today? Your usual Enlightened Meditation? Or could I interest you in a sample of our Careful Introspection? It's new."

"Actually, I had something a bit different in mind today," he says. "I'd like to try Julie's Special."

Her smile falters for a split second. "I wouldn't recommend that," she cautions. "It's probably not what you think."

"I'll take my chances," he replies.

"Suit yourself," she shrugs. "That'll be ten quid." He pays, and she grabs a blank cartridge from the tray on the counter. "Jack, right?" Her pen hovers expectantly over the cartridge label.

"John, actually." He looks left, then right. The shop is empty except for the two of them. "Do you really need to label it? We're the only ones here."

"It's just how we like to do things," she replies dismissively as she writes.

He follows her over to the encoder, a hulking contraption on the counter between them. She inserts the cartridge, pulls various levers, and the encoder begins clicking and clacking, hissing clouds of steam.

Finally, the machine grinds to a halt and she ejects the cartridge. "John!" she announces to the empty shop, sliding it onto the counter.

He picks up the cartridge from next to his elbow. "Thanks," he says.


He claims a cushiony seat next to the window and takes out his iCog. Sliding the cartridge in, he settles deeper into his seat, closes his eyes, and pushes play.

The thoughts come one after the other, with none of the usual deliberate pacing. They come so quickly that he has difficulty keeping up with them. (S)he is trying to decide what to wear to work today. (S)he is bored because there are no customers. (S)he is wondering if this guy that comes in every day has a crush on her. Doesn't he see the clipping taped to the counter that reads "Just because your cogista is friendly, doesn't mean she's flirting with you"? (S)he can't wait to get off work so (s)he can meet his/her boyfriend for dinner. And then, abruptly, the stream of consciousness ends and he is just himself again, thinking his own thoughts.

After a moment, he takes out the cartridge and walks up to the counter.

"Could I exchange this for another one?" he asks. "I wasn't really satisfied with it."

"Sorry," Julie apologizes, pointing to a sign reading ALL SALES FINAL. "You thought it, you bought it."

Copyright 2008 Isaac. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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This post has been awarded 55 stars by 15 readers.
This post is part of a writing prompt: A Penny For Your Thoughts...
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May 22, 2008
Nicely done! I read this first thing this morning, before having my first cup of coffee, so it took me a while to figure out what was going on. :)
   ~Posted by Douglas, May 22, 2008

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