Tabias flicked the dust bunny across the concrete floor. The mechanic stool he laid on screeched as he chased the ball of dirt in the crawl space at Grandmother’s house.
The dust bunny skittered and joined forces with another to become a dust-WereRabbit, but quickly disappeared under a black bed sheet hanging from the ceiling.
Tabias pushed harder with his hands on the filthy concrete, determined to crash through the hanging bedsheet and slaughter the WereRabbit where it hid.
Instead, the spinning black stool slammed into something hard and gave Tabias a solid jolt.
“The temerity of it,” Tabias growled as he rubbed the sore spot where his head had collided with a knob of some type. He pulled the bedsheet back, gasped and ripped it down from the ceiling rafters.
It was an old arcade game!
The knobs were shiny as if new, the back board in perfect condition. Not a scratch or dent or missing paint chip. The letters spelled the name of the pinball machine, Worldly f-Easter.
He chuckled as he hit the side with his hip as a classic start and the machine made a whine and creak before the silver ball appeared in the clear glass window above the starting pin. In the quarter slot near his knee, appeared a plastic orange egg, similar to the ones he had found at Easter with wooden letters. Tabias cracked it open to find a quarter and a small tin-wrapped chocolate egg.
Without hesitation, Tabias unwrapped and popped the chocolate in his mouth, slid the quarter in, and the arcade game lit up.
He pulled the plunger and released the ball into the playfriend. Tabias focused on the track and nudged the machine to activate the tilt sensors. He moved it along the rows of Russian stacking dolls, Matryoshka, his Grandmother had taught him.
It ran dangerously close to the end hole so he smacked the buttons to activate the flippers. Fail. The machine wailed a losing battle cry for him as the silver ball disappeared down the hole. The machine went black and Tabias dropped his head.
That’s when he caught sight of a second Easter egg sitting in the quarter return slot.
It was a darker green, and upon opening it he found none other than another quarter.
And a miniature cake sealed in plastic with the word Kulich. Another Russian nod from what he could remember.
The cake was a dense bread, iced, and covered with sprinkles.
The sugar brought light to his mouth and Tabias smiled widely as he popped the next quarter into the machine.
The row of Russian dolls had been replaced by a gold adorned Greek goddess. She sat with legs crossed and toes resting on a dangerous looking boulder. Black makeup lined her eyes and came out to her hair line nearly.
Tabias was mesmerized with the beauty of the simply drawn character that the silver ball went straight to the end bumper, kissed it, and disappeared once more down the end hole.
He wasted no time putting his hand to the quarter return. A new egg was already resting there, he pushed his thumb to the line where it opened and spilled into his hand — a quarter and a braided pastry. Koulourakia, it said on the plastic bag and the taste reminded him of Christmas.
“Tabias?” Grandmother’s voice echoed through the crawl space. “Where are you?”
“Over here, Grandma!”
He stuffed the quarter into his pocket, replaced the sheet over the world traveling pinball machine, and ran to his Grandmother.
“Just finding old Easter treats!”
Norma Rrae is an author based in Fort St. John. Read more of her works at notmewriting.com.