Morgan smiled at the barista taking her cappuccino order. The coffee a small indulgence to celebrate a fantastic day. Two job offers. The gods were smiling on her, finally. She set her purse on the counter, and a rack of keychains beside the cash register tinkled at the movement. The glossy black of the eight-ball keychain caught her eye. She recalled a bratty cousin at a family reunion, sticking a full-sized one in her face telling her to ask it questions. He’d chased her around until she’d relented, then laughed and teased her for the rest of the afternoon.
She ran a finger over the smooth surface, and goosebumps spilled up her arm.
“That will be $4.50 for the coffee.” The barista interrupted her thoughts.
Morgan grabbed the eight ball. “Let’s add that.”
She wandered down the street, sipping the creamy treat and spinning the eight ball on her finger, pondering the pros and cons of her job options. A car horn honked, and she glanced up to see the front of the local lottery shop.
“I wonder.” She grinned and shook the eight ball.
Morgan scoffed but crossed the street, entered the shop and purchased a $2 instant win ticket. She used her thumbnail to scratch off the card, tiny curls of dark grey falling on the countertop. $50 winner.
She laughed at the coincidence, retrieved her surprise winnings, and resumed her walk home, twirling the keychain with job selection on her mind.
The VP of Marketing job appealed to her the most.
Outlook not so good.
What? The company had an impeccable reputation — the CEO often in the press for his charitable efforts.
Don’t count on it.
She frowned and shook the ball again.
Concentrate and ask again.
What? Morgan glanced around to see if anyone was watching her and shook the ball again.
My reply is no.
A shiver ran down her spine. It was crazy asking a toy for advice. She shook her head and tucked the eight ball in her purse, and continued home.
Morgan opened the door and navigated around her black cat, Barney, setting her things down on the kitchen counter. “Alexa, CNN on TV, please.”
The television came to life while she dished out Barney’s dinner. The pesky feline stroked his face on her leg in anticipation.
“And in business news, CEO Alan Farmer of Whole Farm Products was arrested today for insider trading and embezzling millions of shareholder earnings.” Morgan’s head jerked towards the screen. “The SEC has halted all operations of the $400 billion company today, leaving employees unsure if they would have jobs tomorrow.” No! That was her VP job.
An itch started between her shoulder blades. She scratched and shifted, but it wouldn’t stop. Barney looked up from his dinner and seemed to stare at her purse. Morgan followed his gaze. The eight-ball keychain sparkled up at her. She frowned and glanced back at Barney, but he’d resumed eating.
“Did you know about this?” She shook the eight ball.
Morgan tried again and again.
The same answer every time. Yes definitely. Yes definitely.
The itch on her back intensified. She shook the eight ball. “Should I take the PR job with Burgeon Media?”
“You’re sure?” Wait, what was she doing asking a keychain for advice?
Her cellphone rang and jolted Morgan back to reality. “Good afternoon, Morgan Carson,” she answered.
“Hi Ms. Carson, it’s Geena from Burgeon Media. Mr. Danson was very impressed with you today and has asked me to revise your offer. We are prepared to increase the starting salary by $20,000 and add a signing bonus of $10,000. Would that be acceptable to you?”
Morgan looked at the keychain.
It is certain.
“Yes, Geena, that would be wonderful. I accept the offer.”
BIO: Margaret Burniston uses the pen name Maggie Mevel. She resides in the capital of Canada. She’s spent years writing marketing, advertising and product literature; and poking away on the side at the science fiction, fantasy and paranormal fiction stories that are her passion. She’s currently enrolled in the WVU 3-Year Fiction MFA program. This is her first publication.