Magnificent Miles
Joseph Young

There wasn’t any chance she’d be the right fit. It might have been her hair. Or it might
have been her teeth. Or her degree.

It was cold out. Her coat was wool and very good but with the wind between the buttons she had to wrap tight against her middle, her hips. It was Chicago and it was snowing.

Hey, Lady, the man in the newsstand said. He held out a pair of gloves. These are better than those you have.

She stopped her walking and squinting against the snow. She pulled up short. The man in the newsstand was very handsome, there was a something about his eyes.

She looked at the gloves. I don’t have a job, she told him. They didn’t want me. The man frowned at that. He was taken aback by this. Well that doesn’t make sense.

Maybe, she said. Perhaps. And thank you. She felt a something toward this stranger.
Then she looked at the gloves again, a very nice pair of them. Which I mean, I can’t
afford those.

The man shook his head. It’s street prices, Lady. It’s five dollars.

She looked at the winsome man. He had frost at the temple and was younger than she.

You wouldn’t be conning me? she said. No, he said, now not taken aback. He smiled. It’s five dollars. Five for you. And anyone, he added with his smile.

She looked at her hands, unraveled in the wind. He is precarious, she told herself. She wasn’t the right fit, not with her hair or teeth. Maybe, she told the man. Her face was set in the Chicago of his eyes.

Joseph Young lives in Baltimore. His work has appeared widely in print and online, and his book of microfictions, Easter Rabbit, was released by Publishing Genius in 2009. Visit his website here.