The following Monday, out of the blue, Director Boone called me to his office. My heart hammered in my throat. What had I done wrong? When I entered, he told me to remain standing, not a good sign.
He must have read my troubled expression. "Be at ease, Sing. I'm here to ask you to do something for me."
Wanting to make sure, I asked, "I'm not in trouble?"
"No." He reached into his wallet and removed a dollar bill, held it up vertically gripping the edge of the bill at one of the short ends.
"What's that for?"
"An experiment. Hold out your thumb and forefinger like a crab pincher near the bottom edge of this dollar bill."
I hesitated. What was this all about?
"This isn't a trick. I just want to see something."
Although I remained skeptical, I did as he asked and held out my thumb and finger.
"I'm going to let go of my end of the bill," Boone said. "When I do so, see if you can catch it."
Didn't think that to be much of a challenge. And it wasn't. As soon as I saw the bill falling, I pinched it.
Boone raised an eyebrow. "I'll make it more challenging. This time hold your pincher near the middle of the bill instead of at the end."
I handed the bill back to him, and we repeated the test. I caught it with no problem. Wasn't much of a game to me.
"One more time," Boone said. "Hold your pincher directly under my fingers."
I shrugged and did as he asked. Boone held the bill in place for a long time, probably in an attempt to get me to relax my focus, but I wouldn't fall for it. I concentrated. As soon as Boone released the bill, I caught it. Close one, though. Snagged it at the very edge.
Boone took a step back. "Not one person in a thousand can do that."
"It's not that hard."
"And not one person in a hundred-thousand can catch flies in mid-air," he continued.
"You watched me do that with your security cameras?"
"I watch everything."
"I've always been able to catch flies." Imitating a prize fighter, I danced in-place and shadow boxed the air. "Lightning quick reflexes. I can float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, just like Mohammed Ali."
My antics made Boone smile. "Not bad at poetry, either."
I stopped my clowning around and held out the bill to give it back.
"Keep it," Boone said. "You earned it."
"In that case, why didn't you use a hundred instead of a one?"
YOU ARE READING
The Story of SingTeen Fiction
[2018 Wattys Short List] - Sixteen-year-old Sing strives to do well in school so that he can find a decent job and provide a better life for his crippled mother and younger brother, Jacko. That goal becomes derailed when Sing is falsely accused of a...