He walks down the street with one hand in the pocket of his jacket, feeling the two little metal disks he carries there. They aren’t coins, though they’re each about the size and thickness of a quarter. One of them is blank and smooth, the other lined with whorls that make it look like a little hedge-maze or a thumbprint.
He found them when he was a child, almost fourteen years ago.
The plain one was in a box of Cracker Jacks… it was loose, and in addition to the little plastic-wrapped temporary tattoo that was there as the actual prize. His mother thought it had probably come off a machine at the packing plant and instructed him to throw the whole thing away, fearing contamination. He threw out the package and snack, but kept the disk. It didn’t feel like an accident to him. It felt… purposeful, though what that purpose might be he couldn’t guess until its scarred twin showed up in a box of Corn Pops six months later.
When the disks are touching each other, he feels calm and secure, utterly unflappable. When they’re apart but in his possession he feels confident and strong, almost invincible. The effect lasts as long as they’re in close proximity to his person, though it’s strongest when he touches them to his skin.
Over the years he’s tried to subtly test if anyone else can feel the effects of the disks, but the results have been inconclusive. He’s been afraid to spell out the reaction that he’s looking for, both out of a sense that this would taint the results and a fear of looking foolish. His worst fear, though, is that someday he will tell someone about the disks and be believed, and then lose them to a thief.
Twice now he’s had dreams where a figure bathed in light tried to tell him the word that will unlock the disks’ full capabilities, whatever they may be. Each time he’s not quite been able to make out the word, but he believes the second time he came a little bit closer to hearing it properly.
He isn’t dependent on the disks, exactly.
He could get through the day without them, he’s pretty sure.
He just gets through things a little more easily with them.