Everyone’s a Winner, Baby
Deano walked as nonchalantly he could while still moving so fast he might as well be running. He shouldered and weaved his way into the heart of the arcade, scanning the faces of the staff, looking for Gav. Every so often he snuck a quick glance behind him, to see how close they were.
The three of them were moving slowly through the crowd, spreading out to cover the exits. He needed to find Gav and pass off the coin as soon as possible. He turned a corner, past one of those 2p avalanche machines, and saw Stace, Gav’s girlfriend, carrying a stack of boxes. She saw him too, smiled. “Alright Deano! Gav’s not in today, got a dickey tummy.”
He didn’t hear what she said after that, something about needing to get on with work, and then she disappeared into the crowd. Deano was too busy trying to stay upright. His knees had gone wobbly. This was it. he was going to die, here on the pier, for a bloody coin.
He looked around him. He could see them closing in. He took the coin out of his pocket, unfolded the paper wrapping. It didn’t look like anything special. A little under an inch across, bronze. A man’s head where the queen should be. It looked like a plasticine model of a coin, slightly mishapen, wobbly around the edges. Apparently it was hundreds of years old, from before coins were made by machines, back when every coin had to be stamped out by hand. This little coin was supposedly worth more than every other coin in this arcade, many times over. If they found him with it, they’d kill him.
He looked at the machine in front of him. Gav had told him the proper name for these once, a coin pusher. Obvious and boring name, really. Looking at it now, he realised what he should do. Watching the shifting shelves of tuppences undulating back and forth behind the glass, he knew that it was perfect. No one would be able to tell this coin apart from them. He and Gav could come back later, after closing, open the machine up and get it out.
He dropped the coin in the slot.