Fingers and Laserbeam. LOVE THIS.
You had me at "A city bus pulled up to the curb." Thanks for not trying to say that in a way that's never been said before. Loved your character names: Fingers; Laser Beam; Party Girl; Itty Bit. A couple of awkward turns of phrase didn't spoil it, and I came to the end hoping the ruby bird's eye saved Itty. Good work.
I really liked the hallway for some reason, especially the line "...in socks as a child, when she could walk." Simple, but I feel like it paints a detailed picture. It somehow suggests not just any age, but a little after the age she learns to walk. I don't know. Anyway, I liked the story. It ends exactly how I end my stories: lingering hope. Poor Laser. Itty Bit said no every time, what makes him think THIS is the token?
A thousand headstones. Interested in prayerplant's view as my reaction was that this was a very hopeless ending (and good for that). May be one of those stories that will mean different things to different people according to their own personalities. Laser seems too optimistic and naive for the world around him - which I thought makes for a melancholic story as you can't help feeling that everything is inevitably going to be terrible for him and everyone else. Very good story - although I am a bit depressed now.
This is a beautiful, compelling story. The reader is left skeptical that the ruby will change Itty Bit’s life, but there’s at least a twinge of hope. I had to look up what a ruby rod is. I think I would have liked a short explanation. At least that it is an integral part of a certain type of laser. But that’s a minor nitpick. The correlation of the ruby rod and the ruby with Laser’s changing hopes was inspired. Well done!
Character names were unique without trying too hard. Loved the piece!
Unrequited love with a hint of a social commentary. Not an unusual combination, but definitely a new way of presenting the idea! I found it very engaging!