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Random Fiction #4 – 112918

“Hey man, I got one more load to finish for the night, and then I'm out,” Stu said, his magnaphonic earpiece transmitting every word to his brother, Jack, on the other side of the warehouse.

He knew he could get busted by the shift supervisor any second. It was almost quitting time on a Friday night, so he didn't much care. “How about we knock over a liquor store or something?”

“Yeah, that'd be totally worth the hassle of getting sentenced to the Archimedes penal colony for a dozen years of hard labor,” Jack replied.

“Oh, whadda you know about penal colonies?” Stu argued. “You saw that on some sci-fi marathon on Netflix. That shit ain't real.”

“Whatevs, that's a dumb idea,” Jack said. “Let's just head to Sidestreet and grab a $10 burger basket and a pitcher of Burning River. It's cheap at twice the price, so it's on me this week. And it'll keep you out of a floating shit crick.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Stu sighed. “I was hoping this weekend we'd have some excitement for once. This will be the thirty-third Friday night in a row at Sidestreet, but who's counting?”

“And this will be the thirty-second Friday night in a row that I've paid,” Jack replied. “But who's counting?”

“Crap, supervisor at 1:00 so gotta run, just meet me there,” Stu said, swiping the magnaphone out of his ear in a flash. He knelt down and jammed it into the back of his 16-eye Cherry Reds for safekeeping. The Friday night supervisor was a lazy mofo, but he didn't want to take any chances.

“Evening, Mr. Carew, figured you'd have been long gone by now,” Chief Bannister said. He stopped to hike his navy blue, easy-care, Sansabelt, poly-cotton slacks up above his bulbous belly. He wiped a snotty nose on his bare arm for good measure.

“Just finishing up now, Chief,” Stu replied. He resisted the urge to roll his eyes at calling him that since it was neither his name or official title, just some power trip he'd gone on when he got promoted the month before.

“Well, lock and load and git ‘er done so we can close up for the night,” Chief said. “I gotta git home and see my woman.”

“On that note, I'm done,” Stu said, grossed out by the mental image that flashed across his mind. He tossed the last bale of papers onto the delivery truck and slammed the door shut. “You have a pleasant night with Mrs. Chief, and I'll see you next week.”

Chief Bannister stammered for a bit, trying to come up with a witty reply. Before he could think of anything, Stu was down the hall and out the door, ready for a wild night at the old saloon.

He caught the #9 Ashland bus to his apartment off Wellington and raced upstairs to rinse off the stink and sweat. He grabbed the closest pair of 501s from the pile on the floor of his closet and the sole clean black t-shirt from the bottom of the clothes basket and was back out the door in ten.

Little did he suspect that he'd never see his apartment, Chief Bannister, or the warehouse district ever again. Too bad he hadn't worn a clean pair of jeans.

Copyright © 2018 Chad V. Holtkamp.

All rights reserved.

Yong Chuan

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