Crustacean Crime Wave

I looked both ways before entering. Except for a busker with a guitar, only the usual students, hipsters, and homeless treaded the Cambridge sidewalks. The bank’s foyer was empty except for two brushed-steel cash machines. Fluorescent lights cast a purplish glow over the counter and the paper receipt someone had left behind. Satisfied, I slid my bank card into the slot. My minor surgery had gone well. I didn’t even need the Percocet for the pain so I flushed them down the toilet without a thought about what the opioids did to the sea creatures downstream. To celebrate, I was going to hit the raw bar at the Little Donkey before my improv class. The restaurant knew how to do it right: king crab, littleneck clams, oysters on the half shell, and tuna tartare. I could almost smell it. The machine beeped and I took my cash.

“Give me your money!” A mugger with a gurgling voice stuck something sharp in my back. It was hard to tell but the weapon seemed to have two points.

The lobby behind locked, glass doors was empty so no help was likely to come from the bank staff. If I pivoted, swung my arm, and applied a wrist lock, I might disable the mugger but it would be risky. A hundred dollars wasn’t worth a trip to the emergency room. I handed over the cash.

The door banged as my attacker fled. I turned in time to see an SUV slam on the breaks to avoid plowing into a six-foot lobster dashing across Massachusetts Avenue. His shell was blueish green and each of his legs ended in ASICS running shoes. The half-dozen guys beat boxing for tips outside the liquor store paid the larcenous crustacean no mind as he scrambled down the concrete steps to the T station.



Jon Wesick is a regional editor of the San Diego Poetry Annual. He’s published hundreds of poems and stories in journals such as the Atlanta Review, Berkeley Fiction Review, Metal Scratches, Pearl, Slipstream, Space and Time, Tales of the Talisman, and Zahir. Jon is the author of the poetry collections Words of Power, Dances of Freedom and A Foreigner Wherever I Go as well as several novels and short story collections. His most recent novel is The Enigma Brokers. Jon recommends Planned Parenthood and the ACLU.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Wednesday, February 2, 2022 - 22:02