Josh chuckled nervously. "Is this some kind of prank?" The blade pressed harder beneath his kidney again. "Shit. I don't know what you're asking."
A smile crept across Josh's face. "You're kidding. Right? A quarter? Listen. I don't know what you're up to but I could probably just kick you in the balls right now and run. And what is that tiny thing you're threatening me with? A pocket knife? You'd barely wound me. Tell you what. How about you just take the money on the ground and let me be on my way?" He shook his head and chuckled again.
Josh began to slowly move his arm upward. The man pressed the shaking knife harder on Josh's side, but Josh was not affected. Josh reached underneath his dress shirt and pulled out a red rubber ball -- a hole drilled in the center -- that hung from a gold chain. The man's eyes widen. The blade eased off Josh's side. "That quarter was meant for the pay phone to call my mother," Josh said, rolling the ball between his fingers. "I was going to tell her I love her, and say goodbye. I didn't bother asking anyone for another quarter. Instead, I walked down by the creek. I was going to do it there. But first I asked for a sign, for anything, to make me change my mind. And this red rubber ball came floating down the creek." He released the ball and it bounced off his sternum. "My middle name is Red."