Tim stares at his dreams of owning a 7-11 going down the drain, literally with gallon after gallon of gasoline. Insurance will pay of course. But that’s it. There have been too many accidents at this store so corporate is pulling the franchise.

Tim feels himself welling over and tries to fill the silence, “Well Bob what are you going to do now?”



Bob answered corporate call.

He was ecstatic after the five minute conversation, “I guess I’ve always wanted to try my hand at sand dollar painting.”

He is being sarcastic and feels bad. Tim won’t know.

He forces the smile spreading his lips back into a pitiful frown and thinks of asking Tim if he wants to go in on it with him, but reconsiders the joke fearful the man will jump at the chance.

The last day he has to work with Tim will be the best day he has had in what feels like forever being Tim is a fucking dumbass who convinced him a full service gas station was a good idea in the first place.

“You do the books I do the pumping, what could wrong?”

And now it’s over. Bob’s smile pushes at his lips again. This time he let’s his muscles free, free like he feels, free as the wind.


Published by Bryan

I am an army vet, husband, and father of twins, I am currently working on my next publication, a collection of military fiction, and next year will be publishing an apocalyptic science fiction novel. My urban noir novel, "Compounded Interest," can be purchased on Amazon. I host a podcast on creativity called Origin: Stories on Creativity and co-host the soon-to-be-released show on speculative fiction called Mirage with fantasy author R. Emma Hardcastle. My youtube channel is: The Origin podcast feed is: For updates on "Mirage" and future publications follow me on twitter: @bryaiello More of my short fiction can be found at: My amazon author page is:

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