Two Dollar Ten
Jancey slid her phone into her back pocket and stepped forward in the café checkout line. Butter melted over the side of her thick chunk of warm bread. She held it up so the cashier could see what she was buying. He swept his red bangs aside with the back of his wrist and nodded, poking his register. A green $2.10 blinked on the machine’s screen in response.
He sighed heavy as she dug one-handed in her purse for change. Jancey chuckled under her breath. Pennies were the worst, weren’t they?
“You know,” Ginger-guy said, as if he just couldn’t stand the silence of her searching, “you could buy a whole loaf for the price of that slice.”
Jancey paused and arched a brow at him, then forced her glare away. She glanced at the generic café clock over his shoulder. Seven minutes til Save the World Go Time and she needed to be at her badass best. Cosmic powers at the ready.
But she hadn’t eaten breakfast yet, and research showed breakfast mattered most. Better long-term performance, blah, blah.
Putting her bread down on the counter, Jancey delved into her purse with both hands. She replied to Ginger without looking up, “Mmm-hmm. I was actually just paying for the convenience of the thing, and the fact that it’s probably a lot healthier than the other assorted sweets you’ve got stocked back there. All of which I thought was obvious.”
Ginger muttered something.
“But you’re right.” She pulled the last of her coins out and snapped her purse shut. “Screw the world. They can save themselves, yeah? I’m totally just going to walk a couple miles to the nearest grocery store so I can buy an entire loaf of bread instead. Maybe I’ll eat the one slice I wanted, and then feed the rest to the ducks in Centroa Park while everything else burns down around us.”
"Cause, you know, pond. Water. Burning. But hey, we've got lots of bread."
Jancey emptied her cupped hand on his counter, the coins making a muted chink-chink against the tile. She separated them into easy-to-count groups. Her phone buzzed again.
“Thanks for your sage input—“ she squinted at Ginger’s name tag “—Todd. Nice. Here’s two dollar ten for your advice.”
Without scooping up the bread, she spun and wiped excess butter from her palm onto her jeans as she pulled her again-buzzing phone. “Yeah, yeah, I’m coming.” She eyed Ginger-Todd and backed out the pinging front exit. “Can’t guarantee any certain amount of badassery, though. I haven’t had breakfast yet.”