Russ didn’t even want to go in the first place, that was the hell of it. The Bengals were playing a preseason game and he was going to miss it in favor of a couple hours on I-75. But Cindy just had to go to her swap meet—more of a gossip meet, if you were to ask Russ—in Dayton. First Saturday, every month, like clockwork.
“I do love you, Darlin’, maybe even a bit more than the Bengals,” he reassured. “So I guess we’re going to your got dang swap meet again.”
The drive proved to be pretty uneventful and Russ realized that if he hurried he could catch the last few minutes of the game at Pearl’s across from the swap meet. He arrived at Pearl’s just in time to find out that Joe Harriman, the new star quarterback took a 300 pound lineman to the leg earlier in the game. A fractured fibula and a matching tibia were likely to keep him out for the season. This was not good, they had pretty much put all of their eggs in the Harriman basket.
Russ’s mood soured. After the game and a couple beers, he headed back across the road to catch up with Cindy.
“Notice anything?” Cindy inquired excitedly.
“Looks like it might rain,” Russ replied, still pretty gruff over the upcoming doomed football season.
“No, Honeybear,” she sighed, exasperated. “I bought this fascinating little pendant!” She held a little carved wooden trinket away from her bosom where it had been hanging from a string around her neck.
“Not bad at all, but I’m surprised you would get a little bear pendant and not an owl since you like them so much. Is that your little honey bear to remind you of me when I’m at work?”
“It is an owl you goofball.”
“I’m in no mood for playing games, woman, Harriman’s out for the season. Anyway, it’s nice… what’d you pay for it? About twenty?”
“I had to get it, it was calling out to me. I just couldn’t resist—you know how much I love owls and look at the detail.”
“Three hundred and seventy.”
“Goddammit! Do you have any idea how many hours I’ll have to slave away at the factory just to pay for that thing? This is absolute bullshit! And that’s a goddamn bear! We’re taking it back.” Russ grabbed for the pendant, barely brushing it with his finger tips as Cindy snatched it back.
A sudden thought flashed in Russ’s mind as his fingers contacted the amulet: he had to have that bear. It is going to bring me so much luck (he thought). With the bear amulet around my neck, I’m going to get the front-line supervisor job I’ve been waiting six years to get. And that second-string weasel, Johnson—well, I guess first-string now—is going to take us to the Superbowl. If I only had that bear.
Before he could make another grab for the bear, Cindy popped the owl into her mouth and swallowed. Russ pounded her on the back several times as he watched the life drain out of the bitch.
Let her die! Fine… but I need that bear!