Guilting The Masses, A Holiday Short
Katie turned the car onto the main drag, cursing again as the wheels slipped on the ice. Why the city couldn’t get the roads cleared faster than this was a mystery to her. What the hell were her taxes paying for anyway? And of course the asshole behind her in the puke-green Honda wouldn’t give her any room, tailgating so close, she could read the digits on the fuzzy dice hanging from the guy’s mirror.
Her paycheck was too small again. How was she supposed to keep her head above water with these shitty wages? It was the holidays, things were supposed to be easier. All she felt was more annoyed at what she saw as cheer and joy on display from people who were as fake as her knock-off handbag.
The brakes skidded as she slammed on the pedal for the fourth straight red light. Apparently the city couldn’t time the stop lights worth a damn either. Moments like this made her think more seriously about taking the bus, but why suffer the indignity?
At the fifth straight barely-missed green light, she stopped and the sight of the man on the corner halted her, mid-thought.
He stood there in a threadbare dinner jacket that looked like it had been out of style for about 20 years. His pants were torn in several places and the snow looked like it had completely saturated his thin Converse sneakers.
Well, she wasn’t standing out there, at least. She was in a warm car, coming from a warm house going to a job that at least paid her a little. It was Christmas. She rolled the window down and handed over a twenty, just before the light turned green and she drove on with her life, the frustrations at least temporarily quieted by her freshly bolstered self-worth.
* * *
Randall watched the lady’s car pull away and he stuck the twenty into his pocket. That brought his total for the day to just over five hundred dollars, which would be more than enough for a hotel room and a massage. Maybe even a nice steak dinner too.
He made more money scamming these suckers than he ever had at his job. And he didn’t have to pay taxes. He loved the holidays.
Seven more days until Christmas. He might even bring in a couple more grand before St. Nick came down on his sleigh. He looked up in time to see the crowd of carolers crowded in front of the drugstore. No way he wanted to get too close to that group so he quickly turned down the alley.
He was lost inside of his own cleverness, so far gone, that it was too late when he heard the crunch of snow under someone’s feet. Before he could even step out of the way, the box cutter was pressed to his throat and the gnarled, tobacco stained fingers shook excitedly as they dipped in for his wallet.
Chad A. Clark is an author of horror and science fiction. For more information on his literary universe, check out his official website or take a peek at his Amazon author page