You can call this a second string Friday Fictioneers piece, not because it’s worse but because there was no way it was fitting into 100 words.
“How much for the tuba?” I asked.
The clerk told me.
I smiled and let nostalgia glaze my face like a Kristy Kreme donut. “You know, my mom used to play the tuba. She had lungs on her like a pair of steel bagpipes. Growing up ,I thought she could put her lips to an elephant’s trunk and blow him up like a balloon, just like in the cartoons. Once, I put a ball bearing into the bell of her tuba before a performance, just as a prank. She played that whole concert, keeping it hovering in there. It wasn’t until the final note that she launched it up and out. Knocked out the conductor cold.” I chuckled, in a subdued way. “She passed away last year.”
The clerk looked amused and sympathetic at the same time. “Sounds like quite the lady. You know, I don’t normally do this, but I think I can give you a 20% discount on it. For your mom’s sake.”
“Wow, thanks!” I said. “That means a lot to me. I’ll think of her when I play it.”
I paid and arranged for the delivery. Then I strolled outside and down to the next music store. One down, three to go for my brass quartet.
“How much for the trumpet?” I asked when I was inside.
The shopkeeper told me.
I nodded and looked far away. “You know, my old grandpappy used to play the trumpet . . .”