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The Bitcoin Heist (Flash Fiction)

Note: This text contains explicit language, violence, and adult situations. No one under the age of 18 should read it unless closely supervised by a parent or guardian.

“Bitcoin Mania” has even reached the down-and-out streets.

A dense Saturday morning fog covered everything that Ghostwood and Angél could see. The afternoon sun would burn it off soon enough, but for the time being, they remained enshrouded by the gray misty cloud. The two drug addicts were sitting on a curb in the huge parking lot of a massive shopping complex off South Lamar in Austin, Texas. Directly behind them was the Shin-Tai “Quik-Serv” Nail and Beauty Salon, where women were waiting between forty and sixty minutes before receiving services.

Ghostwood said, “Naw, naw. It ain’t like that. That — what you been sayin’, bro — that there is some OLD SCHOOL shit. The way things used to be. Ain’t like that no more, man.”

Angél said, “Okay, so what’s up? What’s the deal for modern-day street filchers like us?”

“Right! So, we gotta hit this shit from a totally different angle.”

“It ain’t like math, Ghostwood. With all these damn angles.” said Angél.

Ghostwood and Angél watched a man with two-days’ growth of a beard walk into a Starbucks two doors down from the beauty salon. The dark bags and wrinkles beneath his eyes combined with a dour facial expression made one think he was perpetually constipated. Later, the same man walked out of the coffee house looking refreshed as he smiled and waved to seeming strangers.

“Used to, we’d have to knock down a bank to get access to dat booty, yo,” Ghostwood said. “But no more! No more! There’s these dudes walkin’ around now who own like a LOT of the Bitcoin, man!”

“So?” Angél said.

“Do you even know what the Bitcoin is?” Ghostwood said.

“Sure, sure I do,” Angél said. “It’s like these chains people wear sometimes. Like big-ass coins and stuff. To make people know who’s got the money. It’s like gold and stuff. Yeah, I know. I got it. I know what’s goin’ on.”

“And so there’s these dudes that are walkin’ around called Bitcoin Millionaires. That’s what these dudes are gettin’ called now,” Ghostwood said. “I read about it in the paper. They’re like, the new rock stars, dude.”

“Man, we need to be scheming for lunch. Whatever this crap is about the Bitcoin, I mean, it’s not something we can do a lot about. Right?” said Angél. “Who cares about these new rock stars?”

“Wrongo, Bongo. We can plot lunch or we can plot out a year’s worth of lunches!” said Ghostwood.

“That ain’t even for real, though,” Angél said.

Ghostwood said, “So, I’ve been clocking this dude, see? He wears black cargo shorts and a black Adidas track top. Wears it every time I seen ‘im. And, usually, these black-and-red sneakers.”

“All right, so a fashion disaster. Why we clockin’ this dude?” Angél said. “Surely ain’t cuz he’s some baller.”

“He’s one of these damn Bitcoin Millionaires!” Ghostwood said. “This is what I’m sayin’. He’s my target. He’s OUR target.”

“And we’re gonna rob him of all these Bitcoins?” Angél said. “This is your big plan?”

“Damn right, buddy! That’s God-damn right,” Ghostwood said.

“But if this dude dresses so badly and all that, I mean, he doesn’t seem like the kinda guy to be wearing any Bitcoins, man,” Angél said. “We could be robbin’ a cut-out.”

“That’s the whole thing, Angél. This muthafucka be hidin’ ’em, man!” Ghostwood said. “He thinks he’s slick!”

Just then, a massive, red Ford F-150 pulled into a spot a few feet away from Angél and Ghostwood. The truck’s body was lifted about a foot from the gigantic wheels, which looked sparkly-clean. The chrome hub caps reflected everything as they moved. Its custom license plate said, “PRINCESS.” There was a double-piped racing stripe running along both sides of the bodacious vehicle. A petite young woman in turquoise flip-flops, black leggings, and a red loose-fitting swing tunic-top hopped out of the huge vehicle and flip-flopped into the hair-and-nail salon.

Looking across the parking lot, Ghostwood said, “All right, man. He’s due to come out of the egg-cream place about nowish or so.”

Angél said, “Maaaan, an egg cream would be so good right now. Jesus Flippin’ Christ.”

The fog stubbornly remained. It stayed right where it was and refused to budge even an inch. Ghostwood wondered if this was what San Francisco was like all the time.

A man with a thick, hipsterish beard started walking across the parking lot a long way away from Ghostwood and Angél. They could barely see him through the fog, but they could see that he walked with the confidence of an eighth-dimension being, wearing as he did red-and-black K-Swiss sneakers, black cargo shorts, and a black Adidas track top. He opened one of the rear doors of a black Volkswagen Jetta, and inserted some packages into it. Just as Ghostwood knew he would, he started walking toward where Ghostwood and Angél were. Ghostwood said, excitement dancing in his eyes, “All right, dude. This is our chance. Now, as soon as he goes around that corner over there, that’s when we spring. Everything’s all ghetto back there, like, so we’re not gonna get spotted. We just need about five minutes, and we’ll be set for all of 2018.”

Angél popped two pills into his mouth and swallowed hard. “Ready, Captain,” he said.

“You had two more pills and were holding out on me, dude?” Ghostwood said.

“Sorry, bro. But I needed to get puffed up for this shit here,” Angél said. “I’m not a violent man by nature. I prefer my peace and quiet. I never been too big on the stab-and-jabs.”

“You and that whole puffing up shit is, like, so fake anyway. But fuck it, I don’t need to be as puffed up as you do anyway,” Ghostwood said.

“Got your piece?” Angél said.

“We won’t need ‘em,” Ghostwood said.

At the precisely correct time as determined by Ghostwood’s reconnaissance, the two drug addicts jumped into action. As well as they could, anyway. They quickly moved toward the spot where they knew the Bitcoin Millionaire would be, isolated and beyond anyone’s capacity to help. They reached him, right on time. With a little difficulty, they eventually knocked him to the ground and held him there.

“Give us the Bitcoins, fuckface!” said Ghostwood.

“WHAT?” the Bitcoin Millionaire said.

“Them Bitcoins, that Bitcoin gold, wherever it is, we want it now!” Angél said.

“Bitcoin isn’t physical, you morons!” the oppressed one said.

“Yeah, right! Give us the stuff!” Ghostwood said.

Angél was busy kicking the Bitcoin Millionaire while Ghostwood was holding him down, choking him, and occasionally punching and slapping him in the face. But then, Angél suddenly stopped, mid-kick. This caught Ghostwood’s attention enough to allow the Bitcoin Millionaire time to pull a dog whistle from his pocket and blow on it, hard. Within seconds, a massive Neapolitan Mastiff came sprinting toward the scene.

Ghostwood and Angél took off running, forever regretting ever cooking up this cockamamie Bitcoin heist. The next day, Ghostwood came up with another scheme. For this one, they would rob a sperm bank and flip the sperm, so to speak, on the street, directly to the consumer. Ghostwood had heard on the radio that eliminating the middle man was the straight and royal road to riches.