Ampersand-Interrobang

            Was there to be true love & sunshine for the princess?

 

            The ampersand didn’t particularly like the sentence.  But who was she to complain?  It was good, honest work, and they couldn’t all be Shakespeare.  The ampersand would be a little sad to see it go.  Nowadays, her main employment was on standardized, sanitized marquees or hand-written signs.

            As she headed home, the ampersand wondered if she had always been this lonely.  She had usually been a few words apart from the other written symbols – except for the few times when she got within waving distance of a period.  The signage work only made it worse, as there was almost never anyone else around (except perhaps a flighty apostrophe, with its head in the clouds).

            The ampersand could even remember some times when she had been happy for her separation from the others.  The steadfast and diligent period had revealed in his gravelly voice that he hated the times when necessity required that intimate work with quotations.  The single quotation, while a little smarter than his double-quotation brother, was equally as stuck-up.  The period had then expressed his opinion that he would trade any of his easy work with quotations for a hard run in sentence with a semicolon.  Not that the period was impartial – the stop and pause punctuation usually stuck together.

            Putting the keys on the hallway table, the ampersand turned on a light in her apartment.  Dusk was just beginning to settle when she decided that this would not be just another night of staying in with the cats.  Less than half an hour later, the ampersand had changed into a dress that took advantage of her curves in a way that her work clothes did not.  She was picking up her keys again, ready to meet someone new.

 

            She hadn’t ever seen him before.  He looked young and lost in the bar – clearly working up the nerve to talk to her.  She wanted to talk to him too, but wasn’t sure if her being forward would scare him off.  What the heck, she thought, may as well try.

            As she sidled up next to him in the corner, a look of fear and relief flashed across his face.  They shouted smalltalk over the music and burble of other patrons’ conversations.  Eventually he suggested getting some coffee, and the ampersand beamed acceptance.

 

            “Do you go out often?” she asked over a slowly cooling third cup of blackish ooze.

            He had explained his job as the interrobang was to be a sentence-ending punctuation combining the functions of an exclamation point and a question mark.  ‘What’ was the signature phrase of his job.

            “Go out?  Not much,” the interrobang smiled slightly to show that he was both joking and earnest.  “I’m not terribly busy with work, but I don’t always feel entirely comfortable around other, more established punctuation or other symbols.”

            She liked him.  She liked the precision of his use, the concision in his form.  He may have been different, but he was more than that: he was special.

            The interrobang looked at the ampersand.  “I would like to go out with you again.”

            Her eyes focused on the rim of her coffee cup.  “I think ….”

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One Response to “Ampersand-Interrobang”

  1. Tina Says:

    Nice. Really nice. Interrobang has always been a favorite of mine, despite not being recognized by spellcheck…

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