Fiction Friday: Hold Up at the 7-11
July 12, 2013 § 6 Comments
Kyle wished he hadn’t gotten stoned. Which was unusual. Most of the time he preferred to stay high, especially while working a night shift. But now, looking across the counter at the gun held low and pointed at his middle, he suddenly craved sobriety.
“I said give me the money, man!” Repeated the man with the gun. He was a little shorter than average with his head obscured by a pair of sheer, black, tights with little, gray birds all over them. “Open the fucking register and give me the money!”
Kyle stared at him, rigid and dumb. He knew there was a code to open the register. His employee code. A number he had typed thousands of times. At that moment, he couldn’t remember it to save his life. The only number that popped into his head was the password to the electronic safe in his bedroom where he kept his weed: 24-7-420. He remained still.
The man across the counter brandished his weapon higher, pointing it at Kyle’s face.
“I SAID GIVE ME…”
“Alright man!” Kyle interrupted. “Alright…Just chill out for a sec and let me think. Shit.” He put his hands on his hips and continued talking, lower now, just to himself. “It was like…my mom’s birthday…but not that….and that’s…April? No….shit.”
Across the counter, Dave wished he hadn’t gotten stoned. The tights he’d taken out of his girlfriends drawer itched his face. Girlfriend? Maybe that was too strong a word. The girl he’d been sleeping with lately. She was pretty cute though. Maybe he should try to make her his girlfriend. But then, like, that’s a whole thing. You have to remember birthdays and anniversaries and stuff or they get all mad at you. And if you stay out all night when you’re supposed to meet them for dinner they stop having sex. And that’s not cool.
Dave suddenly remembered where he was. He realized he had let the gun drop to his side and he wasn’t even looking at the clerk he was robbing, but staring out the window at the decrepit old house across the street. Part of the railing was falling off the deck. Somebody should fix that, man.
“What? Fix what?” Asked Kyle. Dave knew his name was ‘Kyle’ because it said so on his name tag.
“You just said ‘somebody should fix that.’ Fix what, man?” Kyle stood with his hands on his hips, looking across the counter at Dave, who still held the gun down at his side, pointing at the floor.
“Was that out loud?” Dave grinned. “I was just looking at that place across the street. That deck is all jacked up!”
“Oh I know, dude,” said Kyle, smiling. “There’s a busted window in the back where you can get in there. There’s a bunch of graffiti and shit. It’s pretty sweet.”
“Really? Awesome. We should go in there sometime and….Wait. No, wait. Fuck!” He jerked the gun back up and pointed it at Kyle’s head. “Give me the fucking money, man!”
“Oh, right,” said Kyle. He chuckled to himself. “Dude, I just…The code. It’s like right on the tip of my tongue. It’s something about my mom’s birthday I think. Or my dad’s?”
“I hate that!” Exclaimed Dave. He absent absentmindedly scratched at his forehead through the tights as the gun slowly dropped back towards his hip. “That happens to me all the time. Like the other day, I was goin’ through the drive through, and like, I knew what I wanted, but by the time I got to the box where you tell the guy what you want, it was just, like, gone. Like nowhere in my head.”
“Shit!” said Kyle. “That sucks man. What did you do?”
“I just ordered a cheese burger.”
“Nice.” Kyle nodded his approval. “Can’t go wrong with that.”
“Yeah, except then I realized I was at Taco Bell!” Dave grinned through the sheer fabric and laughed. “Can you believe that shit!”
“No way! So what did you do?”
“I was freaked man!” Dave shook his head and looked down at the linoleum floor. “I just hit the gas and got out of there. Went to Jack in the Box.” He raised the gun in his hand and swooped it across his body to illustrate the speed of his retreat from Taco Bell. Then he saw the gun. “Oh! Fuck!” He pointed it back at Kyle. “The money, dude! You better hurry the hell up!”
“Oh! Right!” Kyle returned his attention to the register but the code continued to elude him. He looked back up, and noticed his assailant’s gun hand once more drooping as he stared out the window, mouthing words.
“Say,” offered Kyle, “that’s a pretty sweet gun.”
“Huh? Oh!” responded Dave, looking at the weapon. “Yeah. I just got it the other day. It’s air-soft. Looks pretty real though, right? I painted the orange thing on the barrel black, and it totally looks legit now.”
“Did you just say it’s air-soft?”
“Yeah. It’s a nice one though.” Dave looked admiringly at the gun in his hand, then suddenly frowned. “But I’m out of pellets for it. They only give you like, 50 when you buy the gun. Which is bullshit cuz you just loose ’em all.”
“Did you just say it’s air-soft?” Repeated Kyle.
“What? Wait….NO!” Dave yelled, suddenly cognizant of his situation. “No, man, this is a gun! Give me the money, man!”
“I don’t think so dude.” Kyle put his hands on his hips and shook his head, staring across the counter with a look of stern disapproval. “You just said that’s an air-soft gun. And that you don’t even have pellets for it so, like, I mean, it’s not even loaded, man.”
Dave’s shoulders dropped. He looked at the plastic gun and then back at Kyle, who was still looking at him with the same expression his mom sometimes used when he’d fucked up.
“Alright….alright man. I’ll just go.” He turned and started to walk towards the exit. “Hey, could I grab some of these Funyuns though?”
“For 75 cents man. That shit’s not free.”
Dave reached into his pocket and found a crumpled dollar bill.
“Here you go,” he said, and tossed the bill onto the counter. “Keep the change man. Sorry about all this shit.”
“It’s cool,” replied Kyle. “Don’t even worry about it.” He watched as Dave pocketed the pistol, then took a bag of Funyuns off the rack and pushed the door open. He walked across the street towards the dilapidated house, looked at it for a second, then headed around the back to see if he could find the broken window. Kyle chuckled and scooped the dollar off the counter. Then he typed his code into the register and it opened with a gentle ching.
“Oh yeah!” He said to himself, smiling widely. “It’s MY birthday! Shit.” Then he reached into his pocket, fishing around for his pipe.