It was the day he would never forget. The spring festival had just concluded, and Gabriel Martinez had had the time of his life, taking advantage of every opportunity, every last sucker visiting town falling for all the oldest tricks in the book. But that was nothing compared to the news waiting for him when he got back home. He'd just been fired.
Now, news like that is never an easy thing to handle, but it's far worse when it's your day off and you feel like the king of the world, and the thanks the world gives you is to yank the carpet from under your feet. The festival was supposed to cushion his plans, not make up the bulk of his funds. He needed that job in order for everything to fall into place. Gabriel wasn't much for believing in karma, at least he hadn't been, and even then, he might have been okay. Just a minor setback. Then he got another call, from his brother, the one who had always been so much more successful, bragging about yet another big promotion, something to do with a government contract and a fleet of ships. Gabriel was about to hang up when he asked why the ships were necessary. "Don't you follow the news?"
Well, and then there was the whole end-of-the-world thing. It was almost enough to take the edge off of losing his job. "What do you mean? The world's fine, dipshit."
"Not from the latest reports, little brother."
"If I had a nickel for every time someone said the world was going to end, I'd be a rich man."
"And if you'd actually pursued that scam, you'd be better off, now wouldn't you?"
"Well, that's kind of the point. We all are."
Some of us, anyway, Gabriel thought. Then he really did hang up the phone and switched on the news. Only this town could hold an entire festival in the midst of the biggest story to ever break. "Thank god I was fired," he said to himself.