For the short story reader. Updated every Monday.

The Short Form

“Fort Apache”

Alan Heathcock


“Suppose you're gonna hire another pansy like Lester to stand at that door?”

Earl cracked a shell. “You ain't so big yourself.”

“They's bigger boys, but I'm tough as a cob.”

Earl tossed the nuts into his mouth, his mustache shifting as he chewed. “I threw you out pretty easy.”

“Let me in and see if you get it done twice.”

Earl raised his brows, chuckled. “All right.” He nodded. “Job's yours if in five minutes' time you get out whoever else snuck in with you.”

“Start the clock, mister.”

Earl grinned, showing gold–capped teeth. He stepped from the booth and held the door for Walt, who hastened past him and then Eloise, lost again in her paperback.

We read it in Volt.

Originally published in Zoetrope.