And here's day five. I wrote 561 more, putting me at 3,808.
Here you go:
“Come on, Dr. Claw!” Brody shouted, “Help me out here!” He punched the side of the machine, and then kicked it as well for good measure, as the claw came slowly back to the start position and opened up to let the big wad of nothing it had grabbed fall into the hopper. Brody had exchanged a ten dollar bill for a roll of quarters five minutes after arriving at the Round Table. He’d used up all seven of the quarters he’d found in his various change jars he had around his apartment quickly, and needed some more.
The workers at this pizzeria were probably standing by on the phone with the police, just waiting for him to lose control and start breaking things up. After all, an adult standing in their lobby for an hour, playing his way through 46 quarters, shouting and cursing at the machine the whole time, surely seemed primed to start some trouble. Brody knew just how crazy he looked, but he couldn’t give up hope. Dr. Claw had saved him once. He knew, deep in his heart he knew it would save him again.
But now he was down to his last quarter. He didn’t have any others, and he didn’t have any money to get more. A quarter was only a quarter, so he could probably get another somehow, but he couldn’t help thinking that now was his chance. The magic was crackling in the air right now, and if he didn’t win something now, it would be gone when he came back with some other quarter scrounged out of his couch.
“Okay,” he said, “Mysterious Force, whatever you are that is in charge of this machine and gave me the lottery ticket last time, please help me out here. I’m desperate. I need your help again.” He plugged in his quarter, his last quarter, and the machine sprang to life. Brody closed his eyes, and guided the joystick by feel and instinct alone. He imagined himself like Luke Skywalker, turning off his targeting computer and firing the proton torpedoes when the force told him to. He let off the joystick, and hit the drop button.
He opened his eyes, and watched the claw plunge into the stuffed animals. It tilted on its side, and lay there like a dead bird, shot from its perch high in the trees. Then the chain began drawing it back up. This was the point where Todd had noticed that Brody had actually won something special. Brody had already been convinced that it had been a bust, just like he was now, but then it had risen out of the pile of fur and fluff with a most odd prize in its grasp.
He watched this time, as the claw rose. The claw from the turn he had bought with his last quarter rose out of the stuffed animals completely empty-handed. Brody felt like he’d been kicked in the stomach. He felt physically sick. He could have turned and vomited all over the lobby floor if only there had been something in his stomach, but he’d spent his money on the claw machine instead of pizza.He stood for a moment in front of the machine. He breathed deeply, slowly, with his eyes shut. Then he turned, and walked out of the restaurant with his head held low.