Plastic

James only had half an hour before he could finally clock off for the night. His girlfriend was waiting for him; he’d probably get laid tonight. He smiled. At that moment a man walked in, his brow creased, a tattoo laced down his arm, ending at the knuckle of his index finger, which circled the trigger of a gun.

‘Ah, shit,’ James mumbled, lifting his elbows off the counter. ‘Good evening, sir, just the fuel today?’ he asked as the red-faced intruder paced towards him.

‘Does it look like I’m getting fuel, you little fuck?’ the man said, lifting the gun until it was precisely level with James’s eyes.

‘Ah, right you are,’ James said. ‘One moment, please.’ He began taking the money out of the till, and putting it into a brown paper bag.

‘Do you even understand what’s goin’ on here, man?’ the thief said, waving the gun side to side. ‘I’ve got a gun.’

‘Yes, that’s why I’m giving you the money. That’s what you want, right?’

‘Yeah, but you know I could kill you, right?’

‘That’s why I’m giving you the money.’

‘Think you’re a big tough guy, is that it?’

‘No sir, I’m just doing what you want.’

‘Well,’ the man said, confused, ‘I could just kill you anyway, and you’d just be doin’ me a favour.’

‘Yes, you could, sir,’ James said, as he continued to fill the bag up with notes, placing them one at a time, loosely, inside the paper.

The man stared at James for a moment. ‘What? You don’t think I’d do it, is that it?’

‘I don’t doubt you at all, sir.’

The man began to pace up and down the station, eyeing James as he continued to fill the bag.

‘Nah,’ the man said. ‘I don’t think you do think I’d do it, and that’s where you’re wrong.’

‘Absolutely not, I am certain you would pull the trigger if you felt the need.’ James had finished placing all of the notes into the bag. He looked down at the coins. And then up at the man.

‘Do you want the coins too?’

The man thought for a minute. ‘Yeah,’ he said. ‘Yes please.’

James finished scooping the last of the coins in the bag.

‘You really think I’d shoot you?’

‘Absolutely,’ James said, as he handed over the brown paper bag.

‘Well,’ the man said as he grabbed the bag. ‘Thanks.’ He dashed out of the store. At the door, he turned. ‘You have a nice night.’

Once he had left for good, the phone rang.

‘We’ve got an emergency signal coming from your vicinity, can you confirm?’

‘Yeah, you just missed him; he’s headed East on Colorado Drive.’

‘And the gun?’

‘Plastic.’

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