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freebyrd32
December 8th, 2010, 04:41 AM
Reader Beware...Some violent content and possibly offensive language.


He stood still in the falling snow and looked at his reflection in the window. His thin frame was wrapped in a coat two sizes too big. His eyes, sunken deep behind the large frame glasses, still echoed cowardice in his mind. It was why this would work he thought.

The cream colored glass frames blended with his pale skin. The light grey coat, he thought, would closely resemble the color his skin would be after a few hours dead in the snow. That thought brought a small smile to his lips and he wondered if that is where it might end.

He had been coming to the restaurant for a few years now. He would come in and order a coffee. Sit at the booth and smile as she came out to clean off the tables. He had spoken to her once, something about the smell of her table cleaner. She giggled, shook her head no and walked away. They got to know him well enough to predict his order at the counter. “Coffee” they would ask. “Yes, coffee please” he would reply. That was all the conversation ever really led to though.

He looked in now over the big double-u at the counter. The small girl was taking orders today. He was relieved to see her at the counter. He was pretty sure she was too small to hurt him. Too small to try, he thought. He imagined the look on her face. The smile fading as her image of him shifted slowly from the quiet frail man ordering coffee to the man with her life in his hands. The God of the only moment that would really matter at that point.

He imagined how the small counter girl would describe him later to her, the woman he had watched clean the tables. How she would tell her he had been so frightening. So dangerous. He thought the table cleaning lady would like to hear that. To know that he was a dangerous man who had talked to her once. Maybe she would imagine what it would be like with him. The capricious thin man in the tawdry gray coat.

He removed the gloves from is hands and stuffed the gloves into the left pocket of his coat. Then he reached his hand into the right pocket and slowly wrapped his hand around the handle. It was cold in his hand. Cold and powerful. He could feel his heart rate crank up and notch and the adrenaline scream into his veins. Today an uncanny man becomes a legend he thought. Then he opened the door and stepped in.

Two steps inside the store he stopped and felt conspicuous with one hand in his pocket. He tried to put his left hand into the other coat pocket to appear less obvious. His hand didn’t fit though. The gloves he had cramped into the little pocket refused his hand access so he stood there with his hand perched atop the gloves.

Terror sunk into his chest as he noticed a bearded man glance in his direction, look at the one hand perched atop his gloves and other stuffed deep in his coat. Then the man made solid eye contact with him. The man seemed to evaluate his face wholly. A face that now tried to look back at the bearded man like any ordinary face would. But he did not believe he was accomplishing his goal.

The bearded man looked back down and the hand stuffed deep into his pocket and then leaned across the table and said something to the younger man sitting in front of him. The young man either did not hear the bearded man or misunderstood. He leaned forward, closer to the man and turned his head slightly.

The man repeated himself and this time he could make out some of the words from where he stood. “Going ….ob….ace”. What he heard chilled him to the bone. He could fill in the blanks. The bearded man knew somehow. Knew he was going to rob the place. The frightening part was that the bearded man smiled after saying it. As if he was entertained by the prospect.

At first he was frightened. How was he so obvious? Was he so transparent that even his fragile appearance could not disguise his intentions? He felt blood rushing first away from his face until he was sure he would faint. Then it rushed back into his face and arms. This time it brought the rage from deep inside. This was no fucking joke. This was his final god damned act. The moment his boring fucking play of a life comes to a climax and makes all of the monotonous shit he lived through worth while.

He could see it all play out in slow motion. He would pull the .357 magnum out of his pocket and level it at the observant bearded man, pull the trigger, and watch the side of his bearded face blow out across the booth and floor. Then he would twist slightly to the back of the young mans head and blow his forehead through the glass display case in the center of the restaurant. The small counter girl would be frozen in place as her tiny brain tried to rearrange the events she had just witnessed into something she could believe happened. That would be the moment he walked up to her slowly and blew her hand off. He did not want to kill her. She had to tell the story to the table cleaning woman. His favorite table cleaning lady, who would be running for the back door as her tall thin stranger continued through the dinning room painting the walls with the brains and blood of those laughing.

The young man disrupted his vision when he looked over his shoulder at him, quickly from head to pocketed hand, turned back to the bearded man and gave a chuckle. Then he said something back to the bearded man and nodded toward the rear of the dinning room. They both looked in that direction and he followed their gaze.

In the rear of the restaurant were three uniformed police officers sitting around a corner both. All armed. All trained. How did he miss them he thought? All of his thoughts and planning and somehow he had missed them. Paranoia began to set in as he looked around the restaurant. Others were watching as well. How did they know? How could they know his plan?

They were prepared he thought.

New visions began to fill his head now. Visions of the young man holding his own piece of steel under the table. Waiting. The bearded man whispering orders to the three armed officers in the back. He would not go out in his dreamed blaze of glory. They would shoot him down like a rabid dog in the street. Before he could even get his hand out of his pocket. When it was over, she would look at his blood-spattered corpse on the floor. Torn to shreds by the rain of bullets. Weak and pissing himself on the floor. A death congenial to the life.

He trembled now. He looked away from the officers to the smiling girl at the counter and swallowed hard. He kept his hands in his pockets and approached the counter. Trying to pretend he did not see them watching, but still turning to look over his shoulder. Afraid now for his life but afraid if he ran they would shoot him in the back. Right through the yellow streak that scarred his life.

“Coffee” she chirped at him.

He fumbled with his left hand, still trying to stuff it into the pocket. He looked up and saw her, the table cleaning lady in the back of the restaurant cleaning a trashcan out in the sink. She never looked up.

“Coffee?” the girl asked again.

He let go of the handle. So he would not unintentionally pull it out when she told him the cost.

He nodded. “Yes, Coffee please”.

Anna May
December 8th, 2010, 06:23 AM
I really like the way you let the story develop nice and slowly, it kept me hooked.

The only thing I missed reading about was why he intended to shoot. I thought there would be a more specific motivation behind his actions than the desire for a climax in his boring life.

Other than that, I really enjoyed it :)

Olly Buckle
December 8th, 2010, 10:12 AM
Robbery surely Anna May?
Generally well written, but the first three sentences all start "He ..." and there are a good few more starting "he" or "him" throughout, some simple re-phrasing should fix that.