TRAVAILS AND TRIUMPHS OF THE ONE PERCENT

short fiction by Andrew J. Hogan

“Did you score the caviar?”

“Two. The lady in front of me got her ApplePay account hacked. Her fingerprint didn’t work, and she couldn’t remember which password to use. The clerk let me buy both jars of the contraband Caspian Sea caviar, even though the limit was one per customer.”

“The Frederickburgs will be impressed.”

“There was some excitement in the parking lot.”

“Oh?”

“As soon as I parked, a street urchin came over to negotiate watching the Tesla. I bargained him down from fifteen dollars to ten.”

“Usually you don’t pay more than fifty percent.”

“I know, but the kid looked hungry. Then at the store entrance I negotiated with the chick from the protection racket to keep an eye on the street urchin for five bucks instead of ten.”

“Only fifty percent? She didn’t off to have sex with you?”

“She was a skank. I didn’t like her attitude. So, I just get back to the contraband booth, when the Tesla sends me an intruder alert text. Then there’s a flash of light and a little zzzz noise.”

“So the electric fence worked?”

“Yep. I checked out, and the street urchin and the skank were both lying next to the Tesla.”

“Dead?”

“No. The Tesla scanned fingerprints and facial recognition. The NSA Inc. database said the urchin had a couple of misdemeanor vandalism convictions and the skank had a Class J felony for possession with intent, so the electric fence administered a stun gun level shock.”

“Good. No police report that could affect our insurance.”

“I had to drag the skank out of the way to back up, but I imagine they’re both back at work victimizing shoppers with inadequate automotive defense systems.”

“Two jars of contraband caviar. Should we invite the Ettelbrucks as well? They were pretty full of themselves after scoring that bottle of Glenfiddich-50-Year-Old for their last reception.”

“Scuttlebutt is they’ve gotten their hands on one of the 40 Holland and Holland special edition Range Rovers. If we invite them, Chauncey’s likely to show off the all-wheel-drive by climbing over our embankment onto the putting green. Then he’ll feign regret for tearing up the putting green and announce he’s sending over the grounds crew from the Royal Scot—he’s chairman of the Club’s grounds committee—to not only repair but bring the putting green up to PGA standards.”

“Do you think he’d really do that?”

“That’s what I’d do if I were about to get upstaged.”


Dr. Hogan published more than five-dozen professional articles on health services research and health policy. He has published more than seventy works of fiction in the Sandscript, OASIS Journal (1st Prize, Fiction 2014), The Legendary, Widespread Fear of Monkeys, Hobo Pancakes, Twisted Dreams, Long Story Short, The Lorelei Signal, Silver Blade, Thick Jam, Copperfield Review, Fabula Argentea, The Blue Guitar Magazine, Shalla Magazine, Defenestration, Mobius, Grim Corps, Coming Around Again Anthology, Former People, Thrice, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Black Market Lit, Paragraph Line, Subtopian Magazine, Pine+Basil, Festival Writer: Unpublishable, Fiction on the Web, Children, Churches and Daddies, Midnight Circus, Stockholm Review of Literature, Lowestoft Chronicle, Apocrypha and Abstractions, Spank the Carp, Beechwood Review, Pear Drop, Marathon Review, Cyclamens and Swords, Short Break Fiction, Flash: International Short-Short Story Magazine, Slippery Elm Online, Story of the Month Club, Birds Piled Loosely, Zero Flash, Canyon Voices, Alebrijes, Rose Red Review, Yellow Chair Review, Serving House Journal, Funny in Five Hundred, Penny Shorts, The Thoughtful Dog, Front Porch Review, Minetta Review, Silver Pen Anthology, Zany Zygote, Ginosko Literary Review.

Reprinted from Issue 8 of the Yellow Chair Review

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