Wrong Side Of History by Michael Cocciarale


Tickets went on sale at 10 am. Taney, seventh in line, had been camped out for days. Braved rain, sleet, jeers. Consumed power bars and Kool-Aid. Kept his waste in an insulated bag. When the gate opened, he bought six box seats and made some big quick cash on the four he didn’t need.

At the arena, Billings devoured the view. “Awesome seats.”

Taney smiled. “Those service fees, though.”

“Seriously criminal.”

“Can you say ‘rank injustice’?”

They looked back. Attendance in the upper deck was pretty sparse. In the good seats, though—past the railing and down to the court—was a full-throated mob.

Billings chomped his dog.

“Good?” Taney asked.

Mouth full, he turned. “Better last time. Bread’s stale. Meat’s dried out.”

“Look at these unpopped kernels,” Taney said, angling the bucket toward his friend.

Billings swallowed. “But Jesus, these seats!”

“Next time, I’ll be first in line. Going to be right down there. Behind the bench. When the camera pans, I’ll shake my finger in the air.”

“We’re number one,” Billings said.

“Got that right!”

“When’s it start?” Billings asked.

Nearby, security swarmed. Bloodied, cuffed, a woman strained, looked up and screamed: “Start? Can’t you see we’re nearly at the break?”

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