You are currently reading from the Prompt #2 Series
Prompt: You slide your card into the ATM machine and attempt to withdraw cash, only to find that your account is empty. Something is wrong, as just yesterday, you had $5,000 in it. Only one person you know could be responsible for this—and without hesitation, you are off to confront that person and get your money back. (500 words)
Taken from Writer’s Digest Creative Writing Prompts.
“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.” I scoff as the cashier hands back my card.
“Sorry ma’am, it’s cash only.”
“It’s 2012!” I scream, wildly throwing my hands into the air. “What place doesn’t take credit?”
“What person doesn’t carry at least two dollars on them?” retorts the hipster cashier.
“Ugh,” I sigh, “I fucking hate Brooklyn.”
I turn on my heel and exit the cafe coffee-less and even more exhausted than when I had entered. Fucking Brooklyn – with its tight t-shirt wearing, gluten-free, eco-friendly population that ironically doesn’t take plastic. I look to the sky, half expecting it to rain and half hoping that rain will take the form of a triple grande vanilla latte when I see it – a glimmer of hope in this shit borough…a Chase ATM.
I burst into the vestibule as though I’ve been wandering through a desert and have discovered Chase ATMs now dispense bottled water (Nestle Pure all the way – none of that Dasani shit).
I slip the card in, enter my PIN code…select fast cash, No I don’t want a fucking receipt! and then I see it: “You do not have sufficient funds for this transaction.”
WHAT. THE. FUCK.
I slip the card in, PIN code, balance inquiry…blah, blah, blah…($.01). There has to be some mistake, I think to myself as I walk into the branch, frantically running towards customer service.
“Good morning, ma’am, how may I help you?” I really wish everyone would stop calling me “ma’am”…I Asian for Christ’s sake.
“Yeah,” I pant, “I need someone to take a look at my account right now.”
“Okay, ma’am, if you could just take a seat I would be more than happy to…”
“NO!” I shout, slamming my hand on the counter, tears welling in my eyes, “it needs to be now. Right now.”
“O-okay,” she mumbles, sensing my urgency, “I’ll be sure to get someone right away.”
A tall, slender man with beautiful blonde hair and green eyes saunters towards me as the customer service rep whispers in his ear. A smile makes its way across his beautiful face and I swear I can see an aura glowing around him. I almost feel safe…almost.
After a few moments of information exchange, Paul makes a concerned face and says, “Well, Ms. Sharkey, it appears that you have a balance of…negative one cent.”
“I’m aware of that.” I say plainly. “What escapes my knowledge is how it came to this…there was $5,000 in there yesterday and…oh dear god. My savings?!”
“What savings, Ms. Sharkey? You closed that account two weeks ago from what I see here.”
“Oh my god…”
“Ms. Sharkey it’s obvious that you did not perform this actions. If you had, then you wouldn’t be sitting here in the state that you are. Allow me to put in a claim and we can start the process of getting your money back and finding out who is responsible for this.”
As Paul began to type furiously and make various phone calls, it came to me. “I have to go.” I said as Paul hung up the phone.
“I understand you’re upset, Ms. Sharkey, but I need you to bear with me a few moments longer…”
“No! I need to go now.”
“Okay, okay – just sign here and I can fax the paperwork in and email you everything.”
I scribbled some semblance of my name on the dotted line and ran out. “Taxi!” I screamed, throwing my hand into the air and launching myself into the cab as it barely came to a halt.
“Are you kiddin me, lady? This is Brooklyn!”
Three hours later I stepped out of yet another cab, closing the door quietly behind me. It had been six years and yet it seemed like only yesterday we were climbing up that hill. I put one foot in front of the other and trekked upward, past the pineapple lamppost and onto the beautiful wooden porch I once loved.
I turned the doorknob and tip-toed past the foyer before I heard that familiar, all-knowing voice, “Let me guess, Lauren…you need money?” he smiled.
“Devin,” I sighed, turning to meet his gaze, “you’re looking well.”