Springer Fiction: Thirty Bucks


If you weren’t around last year for the Musical Hanukkah Celebration, NOW is the moment to catch up! Hanukkah starts Tuesday night, and I’ll have a little gift for you this year, too, along with some fun posts.

It hadn’t been hard to raise the sixty dollars. Take the girl out to Roach’s instead of Big Bucks. Skip a movie here, work an extra overnight there. And soon, Springer had tucked that sixty bucks away inside that one pair of underwear his grandma had given him, the flannel boxers with reindeers on them that she’d thought were so cute, she couldn’t resist. Even Springer’s mom resisted so much as touching them, making them a safe place to hide every important thing he owned. It wasn’t much: a pipe, his ShapeShifter guitar pick collection, and his precious sixty bucks.

If Grandma had given him the cash instead of those dreadful boxers, he’d be able to make up the difference he was now facing. Boomer at KRVR had gone on the air two weeks ago and said that since last year’s show sold out so fast and since it’s all for charity, ticket and jam prices went up. It was worth it, Boomer said. It was a chance to help kids who needed help.

What about him, Springer wondered. No one was helping him that he could see. He had to stop over at Grandma’s once a week and mow her lawn and take out her trash and do anything else around the house that she needed him, even though baiting the mousetraps in the basement grossed him out. Emptying them made him yak, every time. And then he had to clean that up, too.

It wasn’t fair. And what made it worse was that here he was, spending a year ponying up the cash he thought he needed, only to hear that nope, he needed fifteen bucks for the ticket and seventy five for the jam instead of ten and fifty.

He needed thirty bucks, and fast. Tickets were going on sale in a week, up at KRVR’s studios again. No lines, no sleeping out, no nothing. The only good news was that this year, there’d be an extra fifty people allowed in. But still, only fifty allowed to jam. They couldn’t bend on that one, or they’d be going all night long.

It wasn’t fair. If only Springer could get up there with ShapeShifter and show them how good he could play, they’d come up to him after and help him out, the way they’d helped out those guys in Deadly Metal Hatchet, who sucked. But because they’d toured with ShapeShifter, they were someone. Same for Hammerhead, even though they didn’t suck.

Thirty bucks.

Springer leaned over to the radio. Boomer was talking about it some more. People had questions. She was answering.

“The way the jam session will work is that if you want to jam, you’ll get a lottery ticket. If we pull your ticket, you have twenty-four hours to get your seventy-five big ones down here to the KRVR studios or we pull someone else’s name.”

Springer figured that meant he had a week and a day to round up that extra thirty bucks. Maybe his girl would front him the cash if he promised to take her to Big Buck’s once he paid it back. She had the cash. She always had cash, even though she wouldn’t buy dinner when they went out. Thirty bucks shouldn’t be hard. Maybe he’d cut back on the cigarettes. Work a few more overnights, as much as he hated them.

There had to be a way. Because once he got up there with ShapeShifter, it’d all start to happen for him. He just knew it. He could taste it.

Let me know if you like Springer and want to see more of him! I sort of like the dude, myself.


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