claw bandit final part


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The kid, laundry room ghost.
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Claw bandit finale

Carmen was quite surprised, she was not expecting ACME'S own foundling to be the claw bandit. Curiously they wondered what they did with all the winnings. They left out a soft chuckle, and hoped they were not too put off.

"You are the ones running the claw game."Invader replied impressed.
"So care for a good challenge?" Carmen chimed in.
"What are the stakes?" Invader replied intrigued.
"Well there shall be nothing of great value, involved." Carmen proposed.
"How about the looser buys lunch for the two of us?" Invader offered.
"A bit classic, but I want more than that." Carmen hinted.
"How about the claw game itself?" Invader countered.
"Double or nothing?" Carmen smirked.
"Deal" Invader said, wondering what she had gotten herself into.
"Very well then." Carmen smiled.
"Con toss to see who goes first? " Invader mused.

Carmen just smirked, she had home team advantage, this would be good. However in the spirit of fairness, they did a coin toss. Carmen called heads, and as luck would have it , the coin landed on tails. Invader got the first turn and went for something easy at first but changed her mind at the last moment. The claw barely hung onto it, but made it in the end. Carmen in turn went for something easy, to secure her first win. Invader in turn decided to use the rake and grab method, managing a two in one.

"I see you are a bit skilled." Carmen taunted hoping to fluster them.
"The question is can you match me." They shot back.

With that Carmen went for a large plush and managed to win it.

"You are good as well." Invader replied with a smile.
"So how far do we go with this?" Carmen mused.
"We shall empty it." Invader shot back.

The two of them carried on, Carmen almost admitted she was having fun in all of this. When was the last time they had a low stakes game? The two of them went on till, one plush slipped out and got caught by the tag.

"You can shake the machine." Carmen chimed in.
"Not fair play in my book." Invader replied.
"I see." Carmen mused, this could make things interesting.
"No sense in wasting a play on it."Invader continued.

Carmen just sat back and watched, as they grabbed another plush. When it landed it managed to dislodge the one that was stuck. At the end of it things seemed to be at a tie, neither one had really won. Both had played well, and for once Invader had a slight smile.

"So call it a draw?" Invader asked.
"What do you do with all of them?"Caremn inquired.
"Halloween goodie bags, good for PR." Invader answered with a smile.
"How long do you plan for that?" She inquired.
"About a year in advance." Invader explained.

Carmen paused at that, perhaps they had a little in common, though they would not admit it. Although they wondered, how well they would play when the stakes were higher. Things looked promising now, but they would have to wait and see.

"So how about another coin toss?" She asked breaking the scilence.
"Not today, I am gonna take my winnings and run". Invader said. "I had a most wonderful time."
"I insist." Carmen coaxed.
"Very well." Invader relented.
A coin toss was made once again, in fell on heads this time. Carmen had switched to tails for this coin toss. The game was lost, not a large loss but a loss nonetheless. Invader did not seem entirely thrilled, at how chance played out.

"Aww I would miss this, claw game not being here." Invader sighed.
Carmen was not expecting this, they had won by chance and were willing to let it go.

"I think of it as a rare butterfly, a thrill to hold for a moment, something so rare." Invader mused a bit. "I cant bring myself to keep something like that captive, safe from harm , but not free."

Carmen relaxed a bit, this was shifting their perspective, Invader seemed to have a thrill of the chase. Although they saw it was enough, to hold something rare for a moment, and just that. To know it existed, and was alive, and would likely never be seen again. However all they would have is a story, nothing more, no way to prove what happened.

"How about lunch then?" Carmen offered.
"Your choice." Invader said packing plush into a bag. "I have my wins and that is all that matters."

Carmen plucked the bag from Invader setting it aside for the time being. Invader was a little perplexed but said nothing at the moment. Carmen lowered herself a bit, reaching out and touching invaders shoulder.

"You have told me a lot about yourself today." Carmen noted.
"I am an easy read, not much there." Invader said eyes downcast.
"Don't downplay yourself so much." Carmen instructed. "You have skill,despite shortcomings, and obstacles."
Invader looked up for once, and saw a hint of a smile, a warm inviting one. Though they felt as though they were looking at a tigress. Intriguing, lovely, yet a hint of power that one dare not look away from.

"Thank you.." They barely got out.
"I thank you for a wonderful game." Carmen smirked.

Invader let out a small laugh, then instantly got quiet.

"It was nothing." Invader said rubbing the back of her head.
"lets play again sometime shall we?" Carmen intoned, she admitted it was good to hear them laugh again.

Lunch was at a quiet seaside cafe, they were outside, near the harbor. It was late afternoon, the place was very quiet. The sound of the waves was soft, and out in the distance ,was the sound of ships. The day was coming to a close too soon, but they almost wished they could linger for just a little bit longer. Here without a care in the world, a short pause before the chase began again.

The next day Invader went to where the arcade should be, but everything was gone as if it never were. Had it all been a dream, a made up story , that existed in another time. Invader went back to headquarters, there was a large box waiting for them in the basement room. Carefully they unwrapped it, inside was the claw game and picture from Carmen.

A note read, "Hone your skills, till next we meet."

They smiled in secret, though who would believe such a story?

The end.


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This was... adorable.

(Also, TiL that there are techniques to grabbing plushies. What would you call getting the claw stuck on the display in the back? I'm good at that. )
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A great end to a great story, Invader. Hopefully, this means all of us at ACME get a chance to play this game, now, too.

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