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A Banker's Eye

JBaz 'Silent thought' Challenge

By J. S. WadePublished 2 months ago 4 min read
Top Story - September 2023
A Banker's Eye
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Today is the day. My driver turned the car onto Park Ave.

"Five minutes, Mr. Magosaki."

Storefronts displaying the latest fashions blurred by as I stared out the window. Eyeless bodies herded past the high dollar lure of gems and clothes. A dozen patrons waited in line for coffee and bagels from a food cart. In a few hours, it would be for hotdogs. Are these real humans or just robotics set in motion like twenty-first-century mannequins? A NYPD officer paced the walk scanning for anyone who would dare to draw notice.

I have had my eye on things for a while. In five minutes I will step through the front door of the bank and make the long overdue changes. Those who have acted badly will pay.

Forty years in banking is a long time to put up with their insolence, disrespect, and prejudice. I wish my parents had never moved to New York City. Being enlisted as interpreters for the United Nations had been thought a grand escape from postwar Japan. Instead, one challenge had been traded for another. A culture built on century-old traditions exchanged for a melting pot of humanity. Today, I will institute the administrative, policy, and personnel changes that need to be made and make them proud.

I'm not sure what the Board will think about the shift in bank policy but I must be steadfast in my goals. If needed, I will replace them all. They have grown fat and lazy living on the backs of the less fortunate. Their positions were garnered by appointment rather than merit. Out of touch with reality, they had no idea the struggles that the average person withstood to survive. They consumed steak and caviar while others ate hotdogs on the street.

The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, and MSNBC will want to schedule interviews and the stockholders will become concerned. I can handle them. They will be ecstatic when they see the market respond with positive returns. We will become known as the people's bank.

The Federal Reserve will audit us and perform regulatory stress tests. Upsetting the status quo comes with difficulties but I am prepared to handle it.

Note to self: Fire Hanks the condescending bank teller manager. Second, notify Mrs. Astor to leave her stinking white poodle at home or move her accounts. Review and reconsider every personal loan denied in the past month. Last, I will issue a memo for a ten percent raise to all hourly staff and double their lunch breaks to an hour.

The car stopped and I climbed the nineteen steps to the Manhattan bank. I paused at the top of the stairs and asked myself; Are you ready or are you a coward and will maintain the status quo?

Stepping through the depository's doors, Herman the security guard greeted me with his daily nod, circa nineteen-forty-five, winking like he was staring down the sights of an M-1 carbine on Iwo Jima. I don't trust him and he doesn't trust me. A bank's very existence is built on trust. He smirks to remind me who was the victor and remind me of my ancestor's loss.

Additional note to self: Retire Herman. The war ended sixty-eight years ago.

"Mr. Magosaki, you're late. Either, skip lunch or I will have to dock you an hours pay. Your favorite customer is waiting for you. Count your drawer and get your Tellers window open now," demanded Mr. Hanks, "By the way, you have been scheduled to work Saturday A.M. The Tellers softball team has a game at nine o'clock."

My Uber driver texted my phone,

"Thank you for the generous tip. Sorry your '83 Civic died. Do you need me tomorrow as well?"

"Good morning, Mrs. Astor. How is Fifi? Would she like a puppy treat today?" I said.

Tomorrow is the day. I will bring poison. It's easier.


This short story is for JBaz's 'Silent Thought' Challenge. I went with a mentally off-balance bank employee. You might have met him today in a convenience store, your bank, or in the grocery store. Be kind, you don't want to make their list.

Six hundred and forty-seven words. One write and one edit. A good edit would chop at least twenty percent more off, maybe more. I have been to NYC many times and a thousand faces could be the subject of this story. What are they thinking, feeling, or processing? If I were to trade places with them, in that instant, would I be in physical pain, happy, or stressed? Would I be broke? Hungry? What do their eyes record? Do we want to know?

Join the Silent Challenge by JBaz and have some fun.


About the Creator

J. S. Wade

Since reading Tolkien in Middle school, I have been fascinated with creating, reading, and hearing art through story’s and music. I am a perpetual student of writing and life.

J. S. Wade owns all work contained here.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  1. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

  2. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

  3. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  4. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

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Comments (22)

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  • Paul Stewart2 months ago

    oh bravo, Scott! I loved this and you really made him come to life with the depth you used! congrats on Top Story!

  • Walterego2 months ago

    Great story

  • Donna Fox (HKB)2 months ago

    I love the narrative you told here! Great story!! Congratulations on Top Story!

  • Hannah Moore2 months ago

    Love it. I do not believe tomorrow will be any more the day than today though, but we've all got to get through somehow!

  • Congratulations on your Top Story🎉

  • Melissa Ingoldsby2 months ago

    This was extremely well written and truly worthy of a top story!! Congratulations 🎊

  • JBaz2 months ago

    Aha, a top story for a top writer. So happy for you, this was well deserved. Congratulations

  • Naveed2 months ago

    Congratulations on your Top Story,

  • Judey Kalchik 2 months ago

    Ack to congratulate you on TS!

  • Plot twist, he gives the poison to Mrs. Astor 🤣🤣🤣🤣 I saw myself in him and I could never kill an animal. Humans, yes 🤣🤣🤣🤣

  • Dana Crandell2 months ago

    Great job, Scott! I've been to NYC 3 times to demo products at the PhotoPlus Expo and you're so right - this could be any of a thousand faces there. BTW, the scene you describe at the beginning sounds a lot like the sidewalks and the lobby of Javits Center just before the morning opening.

  • Donna Renee2 months ago

    😁Awesome job with the challenge! I really wanted it to be true and was a little bummed out when the poor guy's fantasy ended 😢

  • Lilly Cooper2 months ago

    We can never be sure what is going through someone's mind.

  • Very good

  • Babs Iverson2 months ago

    Outstanding story!!! Poor Fifi!!!♥️♥️💕

  • Judey Kalchik 2 months ago

    This is chilling- so, then, successful. Wonderful twist. I am ever so glad that you write, Scott. #your biggest fan.

  • JBaz2 months ago

    I like where you went with this and then added the twist as well. That is bonus points. This was very interesting and a little disturbing. Congratulations I believe you did it.

  • Anyone not have such thoughts on the way to work? I wouldn't call him mentally unbalanced. I'd call him rather normal with some good coping strategies.

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    Great take on the challenge. Well done.

  • RM Stockton2 months ago

    Cleverly written. Like your other stories, this one hooked me immediately, and my mind was churning wondering what twist you might add. You did not disappoint. Well done!

  • Alex H Mittelman 2 months ago

    Great! Love the ending!

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