\ 15:30 "Carmine" | unlimitedi.net
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Carmine looked down at his shoes and checked that they were tied.  Momma always said that you had to make sure your shoes were tied else you would trip and break your neck.  He was standing next to the mailbox ‘cause nobody used the mailboxes no more on account they had email now. Carmine had email and he liked to send jokes and funny pictures to his friends.  Some of them got angry so he didn’t send them pictures no more, but they still made him laugh.

Carmine liked to send pictures to Magdalena.  He sent her pictures with sparkly hearts and puppies and those cute cats that talked funny cause they made her laugh.  Magdalena laughed like an angel.  It was musical and pretty not like those other girls that hung around Balthazar.  Carmine had tried to tell them a joke and they laughed.  But they wasn’t laughing at the jokes they was laughing at Carmine.

Mr. Balthazar told them to get lost and gave Carmine a bag that he was waiting here on the corner to give to a wise-guy with the weird ears and the bumpy green skin that was gonna come by here at exactly 3:30. Carmine could tell time real good since he got one of those digital watches with the numbers and not the hands.  He could read the other kind but he had to look at them real careful sometimes to make sure.

He looked at his watch.  Three thirty came and then he spotted the guy.  He was right ugly, but a lot of the guys Mr. Balthazar worked with was ugly so he didn’t mind.  Carmine figured that their money was a green as the next guy and that was all that counted. “You Carmine?” the guy asked, “You look like a Carmine.”

“Yeah, I’m Carmine.  Mr. B. said I couldn’t say your name and that I shouldn’t try but you look like the guy I was supposed to meet too.  Here’s your bag.”

The guy hefted it and reached into a pocket and dropped a few folded bills into Carmine’s hand.  This was the part of the job he liked.  Sometimes the wise-guys gave him cash and sometimes they bought him lunch or a coffee.  It was fun trying to guess what kind of thing that they’d give him for being discreet and stuff.

“Carmine, listen, you did a god job here, take this too.”

The guy dropped a little red dot into his hand.  It was about the size of a pin-head, red, and real sparkly.

“Wow, is that a ruby?  I ain’t never seen one before!”

“Nah, its a Drop of Frustuglach. Its kind of a lucky charm among us Grathoki.”

“Bless you.  Momma says to say ‘Bless you’ when people cough.”

The guy laughed and smiled, “I like you Carmine, you’re a funny guy.”

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