Billy puts his “next teller please” sign up and goes to lunch because he can see the men putting on ski masks through the glass door, and at the morning meeting Shirley told him he’d better start paying more attention to his work, so screw her. He goes back to the room with the monitors and pulls out his baloney sandwich and Diet Seven-Up, puts up his feet, and watches Shirley go down on her knees and Gabriel get pistol whipped, and it’s like God himself coming down here and administering karma for that smirk Gabe’s has had on his face since the meeting, and then the robber puts his gun back on Shirley, and Billy holds a deep breath because that’s what you do for luck, but it all deflates out of him when the cuck runs out the door so he unwraps the sandwich and takes a bite.
John Brantingham is the first poet laureate of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, and his work has been featured in hundreds of magazines and in Writer’s Almanac and The Best Small Fictions 2016. He has eight books of poetry and fiction including The Green of Sunset from Moon Tide Press, and teaches at Mt. San Antonio College.