“It’s a pound.”
The man in the kiosk beside the bridge had watched him drive up intently; now, infuriatingly and impertinently, he barely looked up from his morning newspaper.
“Now we won’t accept plastic, nor cheques.”
He looked up from his paper momentarily to meet the driver’s eyes squarely, then added, rather too slowly as if addressing an imbecile,
“Nor I. O. U.s.”
The driver felt his temperature rise and beads of sweat broke out across his forehead.
“But surely you recognise me. I come this way every day. To work! For the past six months. I always pay but today I find I don’t have any change. Look, I can pay you twice tomorrow.”
The man didn’t look up this time and seem to find something amusing in his paper. He seemed to chuckle,
“Sorry. No credit.”
They say, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king; and around the waters of the marina, the man with the lever operating the tilt-bridge is emperor of all.
Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, Challenge #187.
As well as the photo, this week’s story was inspired by a place I worked at which was near to a toll bridge. Not a tilting one but a simple stone bridge, a single lane wide and probably about 100 metres long.
I never needed to drive across it but walked over a few times. Walking was free. The board listing the various tolls for cars, trucks and motorcycles showed small change but the number of vehicles queuing both ends implied someone was raking it in. There were four people employed to take the money. I was told it was in private hands. I don’t know how many miles it saved instead of going the long way around but at peak times the waiting was annoying. Even though I didn’t cross the bridge, the queue affected me as I tried to cross it heading home. It’s enough to make a person reject capitalism.
This week’s photo prompt provided by Michelle de Angelis. Thank you, Michelle.
The rules for FFFAW are all explained HERE and please click on the blue FROG button below to read other stories submitted.