shamrocks and lightening bolts by Steve Calamars

I wake early. The sky solid and still like black cement. City silent. I walk out into the kitchen. I consume eggs, potatoes, milk and blueberries. I read Machiavelli and Aristotle. I walk down into the basement. Gray walls, rubber mats, metal equipment and yellow lighting. I jump rope. I skim through a black journal with training data. I do crunches, bench presses, French presses, dips and press-downs. I record the new training data on the soft red notebook paper of the black journal. I leave the basement and go upstairs.

I shower, shave and dress. Muscular, heavily tattooed body cocooned in black suit, black tie, black shoes. I remove a large black duffel bag from the closet. I exit the room and walk back into the kitchen. I grab car keys, wallet, pen and pocket knife. I walk out of the house and get into the car. The sun is a bisected pink chunk. I drive, no music, only burgeoning city sounds . . . traffic, trains and sirens.

I park across the street from the bank. Brown brick, white cement and gray glass. I turn the car off and leave the keys in the ignition. Two people wait for the front door to be unlocked. A postal truck drives by. I unzip the duffel bag and remove a pair of black leather gloves. I slide the gloves on and reach back into the duffel bag. I remove a revolver. The revolver is composed entirely of stainless steel. Menacing, luminous and insect-like. I place the revolver in a shoulder-holster beneath my jacket. I grip the duffel bag, steady my mind and exit the car.

I walk across the street. The front door is unlocked and the two people walk in. I follow, pulling a black ski-mask from the duffel bag. I pull the ski-mask over my face and pull the revolver from beneath my jacket. The steel screams in radiant moist flashes, fear floods everyone’s hollow ghost eyes. I rationally survey my surroundings, taking in two patrons and four personnel . . .

I order the two patrons down on the floor in front of the counter. I walk forward and raise the revolver into the popcorn white faces of the four personnel. I ask in a cool, monotone voice, “Who holds keys?” Three of the personnel swivel their heads instinctively in unison. One remains motionless, neck and head stiff, eyes fixed and frightened. I leap over the counter and call calmly once, “Vault.” The barrel of the revolver presses effortlessly into his soft dough-boy chest. I march the four personnel to the rear of the bank.

The one with the keys opens the vault. Blue walls, blue lighting, green blocks. I hand him the duffel bag and order him to place an undisclosed amount of money inside. An amount of money I will not disclose here. I listen for alarms and watch for die-packs. I receive the bag back full . . . heavy, bulky and monolithic. I close the vault with the four personnel inside. I walk to the front of the bank and leap back over the counter. A guard walks in the front door. He holds coffee and a box of donuts. The coffee and donuts drop. The guard goes for his gun.

I raise my revolver, like a cannon in my hand. I squeeze. Four shots. Slugs like softballs break through his abdomen. Body drops. Blood spills out over the white tile floor like sloppy wet red butterflies. I step over the dead matter and walk out of the bank. I place the revolver beneath my jacket and pull the ski-mask from my head. I cross the street and get into the car. I turn the key and drive off. Composed, calculative and analytical.

I pull into the driveway. I exit the car and enter the house. I remove the money from the duffel bag. I remove the revolver from beneath my jacket. I remove the gloves from my hands. I place the money, revolver and gloves in a floor-safe beneath my bed. I place the suit in the closet. I shower, stretch and dress. Gray shirt, gray sweats, gray shoes. Tattoos and gorilla forearms pour out from beneath my shirt-sleeves. I walk into the kitchen. I pick up the phone and call for a woman. Black hair, white skin, red lips. The sun is a hunk of yellow light. While I wait, I close the blinds and read Hobbes.

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