“I’ll wait outside.” Mabel settled on a bench outside the brick building, her arms pressing her purse to her bosom as tightly as the clasp on the patent leather bag.
“Mom, come on in with us for just a little while. When will you have a chance to do this again?” Her daughter’s voice softened her grip.
Mabel’s daughter laughed. “We’re in Las Vegas, Mom. We’ll never be here again. Let’s go into the casino for a little while. It’ll be fun.”
Mabel shifted positions and straightened her cotton dress. “I can wait here.”
But a few minutes later, Mabel found herself sitting at a metallic box with red and yellow panels and a long handle. “You just put your money in this slot,” her daughter said. “Pull down the handle and watch the fruit.”
“But I don’t gamble,” Mabel said.
“It’ll be fun.”
Mabel sighed and dug into her coin purse. Squeezing a nickel between her thumb and finger, she dropped the coin into the slot and gripped the red ball in her palm. She pulled the handle and images spun in a rainbow of colors before settling.
And then two nickels clattered onto the coin cup.
“You won!” Mabel’s daughter laughed. “Wasn’t that fun?”
Mabel nodded and reached for the coins. She rubbed each between her thumb and forefinger before popping open the coin purse. In slid the two nickels. “Pretty good return,” she said. “I’ll wait outside now.”