The Predictor

by Cat Hughes

He's there everyday, this gap-toothed, grizzled old man standing outside the corner store. Sipping from a can of cider at all times, he wears a stained, mangy trench coat, whatever the weather. Sometimes he's arguing with bearded, long-haired, old drinking buddies; but mostly he's alone. I see him on my walk to work every morning and my heart takes a pause as I approach. Everyone who passes is greeted with either an enthusiastic thumbs up, or a high-pitched, possessed: "Fuck off, ye bastard!" He's become a very reliable predictor of how my day will turn out.


Cat Hughes writes apologetically on a regular basis. She then deletes it.