Life is full of stories; every moment, every person, everything has one hidden inside. For those of us who’ve learned to look, life is a story, one we retell for others in our art, our writing, our creative expression.
Mercury had landed a job selling ice cream at a lakeside park; the past two days on the job had been disappointing at best—the Seattle area was known and renowned for its rainy, overcast weather, and didn’t disappoint, even in summer. Today promised to be different; blazingly bright, 85 degrees in the shade, and the park was packed. “Ice cream! You scream! We all scream for ice cream!” Mercury called, letting everyone in earshot know that the ice cream stand was open for business.
The day passed quickly, with the freezer steadily emptying.
“Hey, I love your shirt,” a woman said, smiling. Mercury had worn one of his favorite shirts today; the front was emblazoned with the words “Careful, or you’ll end up in my novel”, and an image of a quill pen.
“Thanks,” Mercury said, grinning. “Have you seen the back?” he asked, turning around to reveal “Let’s eat Grandma! / Let’s eat, Grandma! / Punctuation: it saves lives.”
The woman laughed, and then her face fell as she pulled out a pair of five dollar bills to pay for the ice cream she and her two children had requested. “I went swimming with these…” She explained sheepishly. “I hope that won’t be a problem?”
Mercury laughed, taking the two dripping bills in stride. “That’s fine—legally, if 51% of the bill is recognizable, it’s legal tender,” he said, ringing up the change.
“Well, there you go—those are all there, just wet!”
“Yep,” Mercury said, and then paused a moment. “…I suppose I shouldn’t put these in the register just yet…” He said, and then, grinning impishly, stuck both bills to the front of the drinks fridge next to the counter; wet as they were, they adhered instantly to the smooth plastic. “Ah, look at that! Instant wallpaper!” He said, and handed over the woman’s change.
“Wha—haha!” She laughed, taking the change. “That just made my day,” she said, indicating the “wallpapered” fridge. “I don’t suppose that’s going in your novel?” She asked with a wink.
“Hmm,” Mercury said, regarding the two bills plastered in place. “Y’know, I think it just might.”