There was a ring in his teacup. Being a reserved and sensible man, he complained politely, but became distressed when the waiter would not take the ring. The manager had to be brought forth to question all of the staff. No one would admit to being the owner of the ring.

“Take it home,” suggested the manager. “It might be worth something.”

Tarnished silver with a delicate twist to the band. He didn’t believe it had a worth beyond sentimentality and it was certainly not his sentiment. Still, a polite man, he took it without comment or argument.

Had he not also been a lonely man he may have thought it fortunate. A pretty trinket to offer a girlfriend. A wife. He had neither, though he knew men who had both. Ginger, his cat, might enjoy it for a moment by chasing it round the floor. Then it would be knocked under the dresser and gone to dwell with dust bunnies and ticket stubs.

The ring wound up sitting in the little bowl where he dropped his keys and loose change. For months it sat there, largely unnoticed except when he would absently wonder if he should put it somewhere else. He never did.

A rushing policeman knocked the bowl over and the ring rolled along the hall. It bumped against the arm of the man who had found it in his teacup. He did not pick it up.


I wrote this some months ago. A cross between flash fiction and a vignette. It has it’s own meanings to me, but I would like to know, what does it mean to you?