Twenty dollars was insane. And for what?
Everything he needed was right here in his own kitchen. Twenty dollars indeed.
There was only one cube in the ice tray, but that would be enough. There were pins in the third drawer with those other bits of miscellany.
The drawer was jammed.
Barry muttered a curse and yanked at the handle with a sharp pull, then screamed and let go. He danced about wildly, cradling the injured hand in the other and taking stock of his reservoir of obscenities. Finally, he stopped and assessed the damage. Some torn skin. A little blood trickling from the wound. It didn't look that bad. It felt a thousand times worse.
He turned to the sink and pushed the handle toward the middle. Not too cold and not too hot. Slowly, he edged his hand under the stream then pulled it back instantly cursing the demons that make it impossible to get hot water for a shower, but delivered scalding heat to a fresh wound. He pushed the lever all the way to the right. Damn if there was no cold water. He turned around and saw his ice cube slowly shrinking. He gathered his wits and went to work.
Freshly bandaged with a tea towel, he returned to his search. The drawer opened this time without effort. With a sigh, he imagined sweet tortures for the fiend that wanted to charge him twenty dollars. The bastard had probably put a curse on the drawer. A rattling search yielded no pins, only a few wood screws. He looked at them, touched one to his ear and shuddered. He headed downstairs.
The tool box held only a few rusty nails. He nearly gave up hope until he saw a couple of fairly shiny finishing nails. He wondered just how big the hole needed to be and examined the nails closely. The longest nail had the smallest diameter. He chose it and headed back up the stairs. His hand was starting to throb.
The bottle of vodka in his cupboard was down to a third of its former glory. He hated to see it go to like this, but a good disinfectant wouldn't hurt. He poured a glass, ventured a sip, and took inventory. He dropped the nail into the glass and gave the bottle of vodka careful scrutiny. There wasn't enough left for another drink. He brought the bottle to his lips and finished it.
Twenty dollars indeed!
There wasn't much of an ice cube left, but he rubbed it against the back of his earlobe, doing his best to hold it there with his bandaged hand. With the other, he started to push the nail in slowly. The pain was more than he could take before the nail even broke the skin, and after a few seconds, he gave up, disgusted with himself. He needed something that would pierce the ear quickly before he could feel any pain. He needed the tool. The bloody twenty dollars for a single shot tool! Twenty dollars for a glorified stapler!
Suddenly he looked up smiling.
His hand even felt better.
Somewhere in this house, there had to be a stapler.