Stream of Consciousness Saturday – Prompt “Coin”


It is Stream of Consciousness Saturday time again. This week’s prompt is “coin.” Linda Hill says we can use it any way we want to use the word. She granted the participants the ultimate freedom. We are humbly grateful. If you would like to join this fun visit Linda’s blog and read all about it. Here is the link.

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Oct. 8/16

Coin by John W. Howell © 2016

The old man limped up the payphone coin return. He had checked at least fifty phones before this particular one. Half expecting nothing he sighed as he used his finger to check to see if someone forgot their change. He felt something cold against his bare digit and involuntarily jumped back . He suddenly felt foolish for being so afraid of what he felt. The temperature he felt was shocking and wet which took him by surprise. He shook off his silly feeling and put his finger back into the coin return.

He could feel some coins for sure. They were slippery and he couldn’t get them to come out. He would have to free up his other hand by putting his bundle down to retrieve them. He dropped the bundle on the sidewalk and reached over to cup his hand under the coin return. Using his finger as a wedge, he tried to drag the coins out into his waiting hand. The coins resisted, and for a moment he flashed on the thought that some wiseacre had glued the coins in the chute. Further stroking did not yield the coins, and now he was sure someone was playing a joke. He looked around thinking maybe there was a camera with a smirking millennial behind taking what would be viral on You Tube.

Deciding to leave the coin box and get a needed drink he pulled his finger out. Realizing he was sweating he wiped his face and inhaled the metallic odor of blood. Looking at his bundle he was shocked to see the sidewalk splattered with someone’s blood. The blood was fresh, and the sight of it filled him with the fear of knowing it was his. Gathering his courage he raised his hand to his face. The shock of seeing the fountain where the tip of his finger used to be brought him to his knees. He hit the sidewalk with a force that drove the air from his lungs. He paused wide-eyed in shock and fell over hitting his head.

“You okay Dad?”

“Huh? What are you asking?”

“If you are okay.”

“Yeah. I’m okay. Why do you ask?”

“You were talking in your sleep.”

“Sleep? What sleep?”

“You fell asleep reading dad. Your chair must have been super comfortable.”

“Where is the coin box?”

“Coinbox? What do you mean.?”

“Aw never mind. Must have been dreaming.”

“We will be having dinner in a half hour. Do you need to wash up?”

“Yes. W-what is this on my finger?”

“It’s a bandage. You got cut somehow, and we took you to the doctor.”

“Cut? How did I get cut?”

“We don’t know, Dad. We found you in the bathroom bleeding.”

“Did I have a knife?”

“No, dad. Nothing.”


“Yes, dad.”

“Don’t let me go to sleep. I don’t think I’m going to wake up next time.”

“Right, dad. Get washed up. We have lamb. Your favorite.”


  1. I was not ready for this, John, but I certainly enjoyed it. It helped that I remember how hard it was to get dimes out of that coin slot. Very nicely done! And, I’m giving you bonus points for using “wiseacre” in a sentence.

    1. Ha ha ha. You have to be over 50 to know what wiseacre means. Thanks, Dan.

      1. Hmmm. I have my word of the day (haven’t had one in a while). Wiseacre! And, yes, unfortunately I didn’t need to stop and think about what it might mean… 😀

      2. Ha ha ha. There are some words that evoke a smile. Wiseacre is one of ’em. 🙂 Thanks.

  2. Nice job, John! I have a feeling coins may become obsolete in our lifetime. Perhaps one hundred years from now, someone will read your story and wonder what a coin is. Happy Saturday! We’re getting drenched here by Matthew.

    1. Stay dry if you can. Thanks, Jill. 🙂

    2. Not to mention pay phones.

      1. Hard to find a payphone these days.

  3. That’s just creepy and sent a chill up my spine.

    1. Man. That is a real compliment. Thanks.
      🙂 (given your ability to raise chills)

  4. Great story, has a little paranormal vibe just in time for Halloween. Looks like we’re trading places this week. You might like my Tuesday post.

    1. I’ll check it out. (like I don’t ever?)

      1. You’re a pretty regular visitor.

  5. This is an excellent story – based on a prompt! Wow! I’m thinking it could form the basis for a fascinating novel! Kudos, John!

    1. Thanks, John. My current WIP is based on a short story I published a couple of years ago. This is why prompts and everyday writing is important. Thanks. 🙂

  6. Gosh, John. Powerful yet freaky. Perfect for October, the prelude to Halloween. Mega hugs.

    1. Thanks, Teagan. Trying to stretch my writing a little. 🙂

  7. That’s a good one for Hallowe’en! 🙂

    1. Yes. you should watch where you put a finger, I know I do. Thanks, Jan.

  8. Bravo! I’d love to read more of this story.

    1. I may have to write more. Thanks. JoAnna. 🙂

  9. Good one for Halloween. Yikes. Nice writing. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Deborah. 🙂

  10. Oh, how I’ve missed your brilliance, John…

    1. A lovely thing to say. Thanks, Hook.

  11. What a shock he wasn’t even aware of the visit to the doctor. The poor guy isn’t losing it, is he? Nevertheless, a hilarious read as always, John. Happy Sunday. 🙂

    1. Yes he is. He is now afraid to go to sleep.

  12. We have abandoned phone booth all over the city for years. I can’t imagine why they haven’t been taken away. Hope no one has had a similar experience to the old man over the years. 😀

    1. Me too. Thanks, Tess.

  13. Excellent, I love it.

  14. Oooh, creepy! Nicely done, John. 🙂

    1. Thanks Linda. 🙂

%d bloggers like this: