Prompt 73-Value

Write about an item you own that is not worth much money but has great value to you.

“No way,” Midge gasped as Lara tossed him a shiny red apple.

She had finished hers and stowed the core away. In the Wastes, even an apple core could be valuable. “I hope you were better at bargaining than I was,” she admitted. “Hank was particularly stingy with those.”

“Hank? I thought he loved you.”

Lara shrugged. “He said he gave me a discount, but if he charged me double I don’t want to imagine what he’s charging everyone else.” Midge chuckled. “He did offer me a whole crate for my ring, though.”

Midge missed a step and almost toppled over. “What does he think that thing is worth?” he choked.

Lara laughed drily. “I’m sure he knows it’s not worth much. What matters is what it’s worth to me.” She twisted it around her finger with her thumb. The silent voices of the market dulled to a whisper in her head.

“Well,” Midge said, “I was able to convince Frankie to give me an extra five hundred credits for those cables we found, so we still came out ahead. Oh but then I bought some really cool ammunition for my pistol, so I guess we broke even after that.” He laughed, taking her mind off Hank and his offer.

Midge had asked her about the ring once, back when they first set out on their journey together. She had taken it off. “Aren’t you afraid you’re gonna lose that?” he had asked, when she tucked it into a buttoned pocket on her pants.

“I don’t need it out here,” she answered.

“What do you mean?”

She explained how her psychic affinity plagued her when she was in crowds and the ring helped her focus her energy into blocking them out. Properties in the wood and stone which comprised it also enabled her to control her telepathy better when she wore it. “There aren’t any people out here. I can handle one mind without it. Two or three are ok but I strain. Any more than that and the voices crush me. The ring gives me clarity, focus.”

“So why bother taking it off at all?” Midge pressed.

Lara kept her eyes ahead as she fought the tears that pooled in them. “I don’t want to see it anymore. It’s just a constant reminder of how weak I am.” He didn’t ask about it again.

They found a hotel furthest from the Dome to spend the evening in. Lara left Midge in the bar to entertain the waitress and a grease-covered mechanic. She lay in bed staring at the smooth, opaque stone and frowned at it. She really was weak. A helpless girl with no control. It was no wonder Shane had left her. She clenched her fist around the ring. At least he had left her a crutch to get by.

Notes: Picked this one up following a previous prompt. This one might not quite answer the prompt properly, since the ring’s inherent value is actually kind of high. Shane spent a lot of time on that. Materials were not cheap. Still, it’s something that Lara values very highly, even if she wished she didn’t.

That’s about all I have to say for tonight. It was a beautiful day and tomorrow is looking to be just as warm. Have a great night!

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