Mr. Williams sits outside Magnolia’s Magnificent Magic Shop every day from dawn to dusk with a small plastic bucket and a cardboard sign.
Smiles for Sale
Penny a Piece
He wears a bright yellow mask and a goofy hat. His clothes are covered in polka dots and shiny buttons. The shoes on his feet are three sizes too big.
The kids always laugh when they see him. Their joy brings a smile to his face. When no one is looking, he adds it to the bucket to sell.
At the end of the day, his bucket is empty. None are left for him. He wouldn’t have it any other way. As he waves goodbye to Ms. Magnolia, his heart is full.
At home, he changes into his gray pajamas, hangs his mask by the bathroom mirror, and stares at his somber reflection. Darkness hovers about him, but he ignores it. So long as he’s able to sell his smiles, every shadowy moment is worth living.