Nestor and McGillicuddy convened at a reasonably-priced Italian beef establishment. They did so to discuss the impending arrival of Rick, a mustachioed man of means. He was coming into town to perform critical audits of vital systems.
The two had seen several pictures of Rick in The Laraway Way, their company’s quarterly e-Newsletter. He very rarely wore shirts and often dangled freshly-skinned rabbits by their hind legs, demonstrating his interest in ass and small-game hunting, respectively.
They were Work Friends, Nestor and McGillicuddy, which meant that they were not friends at all.
“I’m going to order the Combo Sandwich. That way, I’ll get beef and a sausage.”
Nestor was legally blind in his good eye and held the menu mere centimeters from the tip of his oily nose. McGillicuddy maintained his composure and did not kill Nestor in that instant.
“Rick’s coming to destroy my livelihood. That’s my understanding of the situation.”
McGillicuddy began to draw dicks on the wall. It was punishment intended for the restaurant’s management. They were stupid because they let people write whatever they wanted in permanent marker, and in the name of fun.
There were no accompanying balls.
“He’ll freeze our assets and bed our daughters. Even the heavy-set ones.”
“With the Combo Sandwich, you also get French-fried potatoes.”
McGillicuddy had little concern for side orders. He wanted assurance that he would not have to live in a tent after Rick ran the numbers. He communicated this desire by throwing red pepper flakes into Nestor’s face.
“What don’t you get about ruined lives, you simple twat?”
There was hacking and a fair amount of wheezing on Nestor’s part, followed by chest heaving. He stood and held his arms straight up, which is something his brother taught him to do whenever he had difficulty breathing, and before he was killed by a grain thresher.
“Rick is a man with a job to do. Same as you.”
McGillicuddy scanned the tabletop for additional, more-devastating condiments.
“Believe that, and every man will be your master.”
Thomas Mundt is the author of the short-story collection You Have Until Noon to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe (Lady Lazarus Press, 2011). He lives in Chicago, as do others. Read more at www.dontdissthewizard.