How I Got Rich
    Ptim Callan
I was walking around downtown one day at about Yonge and Bloor when I saw this really big Indian coming toward me. He was coming from the direction of the lake, and he was absolutely huge. He was taller than the buildings. Man, this guy was large.

I turned to look south, just to see what was there, and I saw him towering over the cityscape. Fifty-yard strides quickly carried him up Yonge Street until he was standing right in front of me.

“Say buddy, what time is it?”

I glanced at my watch. “Five to noon.”

“Great. I’m early.” He sat down on a record store, carefully placing his feet so they wouldn’t obstruct traffic.

I had to ask.

“Early for what?” I said.

“Oh, about twenty of my friends are on their way down here. We’re doing a rain dance.”

“That’s great. I’ll be watching. From over there. Say, if you don’t mind my asking, how early are you? Exactly.”

“A couple minutes. We start at noon.”

I smiled at him insistently. “That’s great. Excuse me. I have to. Make a phone call now.”

I got to the nearest phone booth and called my broker.

“Divest from the insurance companies. Sell everything right now. Then sell them short. Buy construction companies and anybody they bring in to clean up after a natural disaster. Whoever sells rain gear, umbrellas, boots, lifejackets, things like that, buy as much as you can. Sell anything you need to in my portfolio to get the money.

“And Steve, do it right now.”

I hailed the first cab I could. No sense in going back for my car at this point. As the taxi headed north (which is uphill, away from the lake), I already heard the thundering footsteps of the rain party converging on its chosen dance site.

The cabbie glanced at me in the mirror. “Looks like rain, yes?”

I leaned forward in the seat. “Yeah. And I’ll give you a hundred dollars if you run that red light.”

Ptim Callan is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee. His fiction has appeared in over thirty literary magazines including Mississippi Review, ZYZZYVA, and Fiction International. His independent films have been screened at major film festivals. He took his English degree from UCLA where he studied writing under Robert Coover and John Barth.

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