A man walks into a bank wearing nothing but a smile and a pair of golden slippers. The slippers are nice, but not the smile. It is a superior smile, a facetious smile. A smile that says, I’m better than you, there’s nothing you can do about it and now I’m going to rub your faces in it.
The man smiles at the security guard, who holds the door open for him, poker-faced. He smiles at the customers in the bank who move back warily away from him. He smiles at the clerks sitting rigid behind their screens. Looking around, he finds the bank manager in his glassed-in office. The manager, forewarned, is waiting with another man, the assayist. The manager gets up and comes to the door of his office. He returns the naked man’s smile, but his own smile is forced and does not reach his eyes.
The naked man smiles more broadly. “I want to make a deposit,” he says loudly. His voice echoes in the silence around him and his smile now resembles that of a shark.
In the middle of the bank, he squats and strains, dropping one, two, three large turds on the polished marble floor. Sighing happily, he stands, turns and takes his penis in his hands. He directs a stream of urine through his fingers and onto the shit. As he does so the brown, irregular lumps take on a golden sheen, brighter and brighter in the light of the overhead electric lights.
The man smiles with satisfaction. Shakes urine from his fingers. Beckons the manager over.
Followed by the assayist, the bank manager approaches snapping on a pair of rubber gloves. He bends over the now golden turds and picks one up, holding it gingerly between gloved thumb and fingers. The assayist has an antique pair of balance scales that he holds up in one hand. The manager puts the golden turd on one side and the assayist adds weights to the other until they balance. The assayist nods.
“Solid gold shit,” says the naked man. “Same as ever.”
“The same as ever, Mr Midas,” the bank manager agrees.
“Add it to my account.”
The bank manager waves over one of the clerks who carries a leather bound ledger and a fountain pen. Another clerk brings a portable desk. The assayist makes a note in the ledger, the bank manager counter-signs, the naked man smiles.
The ritual over, the naked man suddenly offers his hand to shake the bank manager’s, who moves automatically to respond, then jerks his hand back in alarm, his face a little grey. The naked man smiles, but perhaps his smile is a little less satisfied, perhaps there is even a quality of sadness about it. For a moment only. And then the shark returns.
“Till next week then,” the naked man says.
“Till next week,” the bank manager replies.
The security guard holds the door open for him and the naked man leaves.
Everyone in the bank breathes an audible sigh of relief before returning to their interrupted business.
This November, as last, I chose to follow the flash fiction writing prompts published by Nancy Stohlman for a less intense alternative to the (inter)National Novel Writing Month. As last year, I got a bit out of phase and had to scramble to catch up. Now, today, I am just a little behind. Nancy’s FlashNano month has come to an end; I have two days of prompts left to write on.
As last year, I’ve chosen to share the one of my efforts here that I doubt I’d be able to publish elsewhere. In this case it’s the scatalogical quality coupled with the required opening that makes it a bit special. This was the prompt for Day 23. Start a story with the words A man walks into a bank wearing nothing but a smile …
The illustration is adapted from a drawing of a giant nugget of gold found in Australia in the 1850s, and a picture of the interior of the First National Bank in Chicago from the late 1800s. Both sourced from Wikimedia Commons.