“Written from 12:26 to 12:47 (I got a phone call for one minute) in my awesome windowless office.”

The third-place winner in McSweeney’s Twenty-Minute Stories Contest has been published: Goodbye Ernie Flynn by Wendy Molyneux.

For three days now I have been followed by an ambulance. I first noticed it while I was driving home from a lecture I gave at a museum. I am not an artist or an art historian. I work for a company called Safety Net. We help employers figure out if any of their employees are shoplifting, embezzling, or planning heists. It is my job to teach the employees how to spot colleagues who might be stealing or planning to steal. I also teach the employees how to resist if any of their colleagues try to rope them into some sort of scheme. All of our teachings are based on Christian principles, but we don’t tell them that. Not everyone believes the same way, and I accept that.