Taking Turns

“…AND I’M TIRED OF TIRED OF THIS DAMN JINGLE TOO!” The small golden music box shattered against the floor between the two men. Its lid popped off and small golden gears spilled out onto the floor. “God that felt good,” Craig chuckled to himself.

“Duuuuuuuude,” Drew mumbled. “Frank’s gonna lose it! You know how attached he was to that thing.”  Craig smiled at Drew.

“If it was so important he should have taken better care of it, instead of leaving it laying on top of his desk where anyone could knock it over.” Craig adjusted the knot of his tie. “He’s practically begging for something to happen to it,” Craig asked Drew with a cocked eyebrow. “Right?”

“What’s right?” Frank walked up to the two men; all three of them shared a cubicle space. The late 30s, balding man glanced at his watch as he waited for an answer.

“Uh, I was asking Drew here if he saw the jerk that knocked over your music box,” Craig eyed Drew again. “You didn’t see anything, right?” At the mention of his music box, Frank gasped. His eyes fell on the shiny mess of sprockets on the floor.

OH… my… god..,” Frank covered his mouth as tears flooded the corners of his eyes; he fell to his knees on the white tiles. His body shook with heaving sobs.

“Hey, it’s just a music box,” Drew offered with a friendly pat on the shoulder. Frank shook his head slowly.

“You don’t understand…,” he said. After a few awkward moments of sobbing, Frank straightened up on his haunches and glanced at his watch. “Who did it?” he asked.

“Well Craig-” Drew offered; Craig interrupted.

“Yeah, no. I didn’t see the asshole either,” Craig gave an exaggerated shrug.

“Well, shit. Nothing I can do,” Frank chuckled to himself, then stood up. He smiled at Drew and Craig. “Hey, you guys wanna grab a beer tonight?” he asked suddenly.

“Yeah man,” Drew glared at Craig. “We’ll keep you company tonight. I wanna hear why that music box was so important to you.” Frank immediately burst into laughter.

“Important my ass,” he said. “That shit’s cursed.”

“Huh?” Craig and Drew asked simultaneously.

“You said if you didn’t wind it, something terrible would happen,” Craig asked. Frank nodded.

“Yeah. The thing is practically a baby. If I don’t wind it every hour it screams in my head until I do. I mean SCREAMS,” Frank emphasized the word. “It was a bitch trying to get some sleep.”

“And all you had to do was break it?” Craig asked. “Man, you’re an idiot.” Frank shook his head.

“It was cursed,” Frank repeated. “Of course I tried to break it, I couldn’t. The only way to get rid of it is to pass it on.”

“So…,” Drew stepped in front of Frank to ask. “How does it get passed on?”

“Someone else has to try and break it, then they get the curse themselves.”

“But.., it’s broken, right? It doesn’t work any-AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!”   Craig’s question was interrupted by his own screams.

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