It wore quite grotesque an expression, when I first saw it; but they said it symbolized grace and gratitude, so I slid it under my polo coat. It was a totem, those two men at the pub, told me; the night outside was cold and it had begun to drizzle, so I tossed fifty bucks toward them and walked out of the pub. My apartment was not far; but a leisurely stroll down Bannister Street, felt like a breath of fresh air to me, so I moseyed on. I wasn’t actually comfortable with the little bronze head under my coat and its distasteful laughing face; but the idea that it signified grace and gratitude kept me from throwing it away.
My house was a few steps away, when I saw two figures emerge from the slowly forming ‘smoky’ fog. The Bannister Street seemed utterly deserted, in the mist; I turned to look back there was no one walking along the road except me.
As the two men walked near me, I recognized them to be the men from the pub; I’d no intention to entertain them so I tried to walk past them.
“Is it laughin’, already?” asked one of the men, in a gruff voice.
“I don’t understand,” I said, trying to avoid their eyes; the other man, who’d been staring at me, grabbed me by the collar and whooped in my face, “the totem, has it started to laugh -even a giggle, huh?!”
“Leave me alone, you dullard buffoons!” I shrieked; a crisp chill ran down my spine as the sour breath of the man drubbed my face, briskly.
I decided to push the man and run, but before I could do that, I sensed something bustle under my coat; I looked at the men, horrified.
I could hear faint giggles coming from inside my coat pocket.