By Clarence Major

Winner of The Western States booklet Award

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By no means mind . . . ” He was once within the financial institution whilst every little thing went out of concentration. subsequent in line, he by no means obtained his American exhibit travelers Cheques cashed. the ground grew to become somewhat. photographs reproduced from works by means of Raphael and Pinturicchio in silver frames in the back of the counter slid sideways. Mason felt as obvious as a metalpoint on blue home made paper. His panic used to be mirrored within the eyes of the clerks and different buyers. The shield was once the 1st to cry out. He used to be an previous guy who fished in his holster for his pistol with no good fortune. the lean persevered for . . . who may perhaps inform how lengthy. Time itself left the distance. The ceiling cracked, a little. “Che cos'è? ” “Oh no! ” “Oh no! ” was once the traditional urban of Florence being bombed? Mason discovered himself huddled in a nook with the others. a guy who was once most likely the financial institution supervisor all started shouting for everyone to visit the basement yet no one made it. Why? Six males with ski mask got here in with submachine weapons. They shot the shield then instructed everyone else to make like they have been praying to Dante or God or David or Michelangelo himself. all of them obtained their arms up. even if Mason was once humorous from time to time, this time he wasn't shaking like Willy top as he held his fingers above his head. His eyes did not greenback. His enamel did not chatter. the ground underneath them persisted to rumble. 5 gunmen aimed their weapons at the clerks and the executive. One took care of Mason and the opposite consumers and power clients. He saved speaking to them in a Bogart voice, which sounded beautiful humorous in Italian. An outdated lady between them fell to her knees and began praying to Lazarus and a 15th century Tuscan pilgrim Mason had by no means heard of. the ground cracked because the clerks stuffed canvas sacks with lire at gunpoint. after they entire, the plate-glass window dealing with the through D. Corso flew to smithereens! Mason could not support thinking about if a few nasty streak of undesirable good fortune used to be following him. He type of needed he was once sitting at a sidewalk cafe having fun with a pitcher of wine with Italo Calvino . . . whilst the police arrived, mins after the robbers fled of their oxydized grey Fiat, the bank—as all of Florence—was nonetheless shaking like a inebriated the-morning-after. The mattress in his room on the Argentina used to be lumpy. Sleep tricky. He used to be commencing to worry sleep besides: it held an excessive amount of hazard. but he had no selection: the asymmetrical shot of a runner—himself? —(no longer a swimmer) . . . What mocking sound available in the market? Bats in the . . . ? Nightmare alley . . . Hay, w-wait! . . . wasn't that an previous Bogart-Eddie . . . No, you are taking into account The Wagons Roll at evening. nod off, difficult man. you've got made your personal mattress of nails. He who lurks within the corporation of hyped-up cons, charmed thieves, rejected marks, the damned in flight from seek warrants, outlaws with golden palms, carpetbaggers, elastic molls, addicts who wheeze, killers in Little Caesar-shoes, forbearers looking for vast cash, Cagney-dudes grew to become Camus-sharp, Studs Lonigan dupes, wild-side-walkers, dudes in Houdini-getups whispering farewell my stunning, and ex-skateboard freaks with butterflies tattooed on their proletarian buttocks, can't count on to start in unsentenced fresh flight with restful sober falcons.

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