“A Friendly Cup of Joe”–flash fiction, Difficult People

A Friendly Cup of Joe



          I am alone in this. I started the tunneling about ten years ago. I told no one. You tell someone, it’s gonna screw up. You know what I mean? Actually, I may have first thought up this escape, oh, fifteen years ago. I’m almost there now. Inches to go. It’s been like an archaeological dig. Wisp broom action. By the way, in case you’re wondering, and just for the official record, yeah, I killed the guy in the shootout at the bank, but it was a ricochet that hit him in the head. I shot at his legs. You don’t have to believe me. At this point who cares? Nobody remembers, except the family of the guy, but it turns out he was a real asshole and sexually abusing little boys in his neighborhood. That came out later, and a guard brought me the paper and showed me the picture of his house on a circular cul-de-sac.

          “The parole board will hear about it, don’t you worry. You did society a fuckin’ service.”

          Well, I’ve embellished through time I admit it. But it was a rumor he said that…I did see the picture of the shit box rancher the dirt bag lived in. As I scooped out the final inches of golden mortar, as the sounds of the outside, a distant interstate pulsed against my ear…ohhh…I dreamed of his lonely, blonde widow and those kids of hers, probably scarred for life by the gossip, maybe by genetics condemned to reenact their father’s pederast fantasies. And I saw myself, new name, coming down the street, new clothes, a tan, a confident smile under aviator shades and standing before that sad house, I don’t know why but I wanted to walk right up to that front door, and faking an old friendship with hubbie, invite myself in for a friendly cup of joe.




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