From Banana Rustlers: Stories


This was the night. The lodge was finally going to reveal the secrets of the scrolls found inside the column from those ruins in Western Croatia after the war.

It would entail the most solemn ceremony and elaborate pageantry, led by the elders who had been studying the teachings of the recovered scrolls over the course of three or four decades. The knowledge they would impart on this night was so important that vows of silence bound all lodge brothers to betray their families—face death, even—rather than share the information with outsiders.

Hidden in the folds of his suit jacket were all the pins and medals required for lodge entry on a night like this. He knew the pass codes for each point of inquiry within the lodge hall, which would be lit only by torches affixed to the walls surrounding their sacred meeting space.

He was anxious and terrified and smug, knowing that nothing would be the same for him and his lodge brothers after the secrets of the scrolls were made clear to them.

Half an hour before he was supposed to leave, he heard a PING! issue from his cell phone. A text had come through—probably Benny needing a ride, since he couldn’t see to drive after dark and this would undoubtedly be a late night. 

However, the text was from Hank Womble, the Grand Master of the lodge. Was Hank going to ask him to be a sentry? His hands started to tremble. If he were asked to be sentry, it was a long time coming. To act as sentry on a night like this one would be an honor too great to refuse. On the other hand, he wasn’t sure he could handle that on such short notice. 

He fumbled with the buttons on his phone, his fingers hitting the wrong places several times until he finally got the text to open. He looked up from the phone. He began to sweat: if he couldn’t even use his phone, how could he fulfill the duties of a sentry with the correctness the post required?

He read the text. “No scroll revelations. Stan’s son to talk about Medicare Replacement Plans. Don’t miss! Door prizes!”

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