What Not to Say to an Armed Robber

Submitted into Contest #104 in response to: Write about an introvert and an extrovert who are best friends.... view prompt

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Contemporary LGBTQ+ Funny

Hot black coffee spills through the counters and down onto the drawers. It creeps to the floor and spreads like fire. Steam rises from the ground, where the brown stains begin to form on the white kitchen tiles. The river of coffee floats over the refrigerator and under the dungeon of doom. The space under the fridge has never seen the light; those who enter will never exit. The coffee joins the quarter and the business card for a real estate agent. They’ve lived there for two years, and now they welcome a new liquid friend to their home.

The coffee continues to drip from the machine. The hot plate where the pot should be looks at its failure to contain the hot drink. That’s okay, hot plate, that isn’t your job. The drip starts to drip from the drip. There’s the signature steady stream to rapid drops that coffee machines are known for. That impatient few minutes where you stand there waiting for the damn thing to finish. It’s like having sex with Larry King. 

But of course, eventually, it stops, and your coffee is hot and ready. Not in this case, notably. In this case, the hot coffee is ready, albeit spread across the entire kitchen. The automated coffee machine finishes its load and goes to sleep. For now, the noise of footsteps is heard on the stairs. Loud stomps into the living room that make way for the kitchen. And soon, we will witness an irate man who has the absolute audacity to be angry at the machine. 

“SHIT.”

He’s figured it out.

“Stupid thing, why would it turn on without the glass?” He asks no one. It’s better that way because any logical person would point out it’s not the hot plates (who does not have eyes, we presume) responsibility to communicate to the water spout that there doesn’t seem to be a pot insight. Any reasonable person would understand it’s the responsibility of the human who set’s the timer for the coffee every night to also place a damn pot under the spout. But Lucas Manfield is not a reasonable person. At least not at this hour. 9 AM. It’s brutal when you’ve only slept nine hours. Lucas doesn’t wish that on his worse enemy, Mark Ruffalo playing the character of Michael Rezendes in the film Spotlight. It saves time if you don’t ask. 

Lucas curses at the ground as he steps right into the river of caffeine with his bare feet. The new coffee machine, which is just doing its job, does wonders with producing scalding coffee. Yet Lucas somehow curses this feature as he hops on his left foot to an area of the kitchen where the coffee has yet to explore. He grabs the paper towel roll on the counter and starts yanking as much towel as he can, and starts throwing it down on the floor. The poor paper towel covers the coffee, but the coffee has absorbed and destroyed the first responders within seconds. Angry, Lucas grabs the dish towel and bends to the floor, where he begins wiping the ground for his life. The coffee laughs at this because the cheap rag doesn’t absorb the coffee as it does swish it around the kitchen tiles even more. Dishrag is clearly embarrassed, but at least he’ll live to tell the tale. The paper towel has already evaporated into the floor. 

Lucas gets up from his knees and grabs the rest of the paper towels. He unrolls the roll like a kid the night before Halloween would with toilet paper. Soon the entire roll of paper towels is on the floor, ready to fight and defeat Mr. Coffee. Paper towels are like furries. One coming towards you is less than intimidating. Seeing two hundred coming towards you will make you wish you packed your taser or Frebreeze. 

The phone rings as Lucas steps on the paper towels. He sees the caller ID and becomes fearful. It’s Miranda. While Lucas appreciates having a girlfriend, he doesn’t quite understand the need for daily communication. Can’t we take a note out of the middle school dating handbook? Awkwardly passing one another in gym class and literally never saying a word to one another? What Lucas would give to go back to that era. 

He shakes nervously while hitting accept.

“Hey!” he tries to sound calm. 

“Hey babe,” Miranda responds. 

“Are we still on for dinner and a movie?” 

How could Lucas forget? He’s been planning an excuse to cancel for weeks. If only he was strong enough to follow through on it. He’d be the master of canceling plans if his biggest fear weren’t disappointing other people.

“Yes! Of course. I am so pumped.”

 Lucas tries to sound confident. He fails. 

It’s not as if Lucas dislikes Miranda. Very much the opposite. He’s in love with her. But he lives in fear of saying something that will point Miranda to another man. The other side of having low confidence is believing that the ones you love would do hurtful things. 

“Lucas, we’re gonna have a blast. Please at least try to be less straight tonight.” Miranda is patient with Lucas, but she’s obviously going to make fun of him a little. 

“Yeah, I mean, I’ll do what I can” 

Lucas had asked his roommate Kasper what acting straight means. Kasper just looked him up and down, pointed to him, and said, “this.”

Miranda quietly yells into the phone. “Yay! I’m so excited. See you tonight. Love ya”

“You too. I mean I love you. I love you as well. Also. Bye.” He hangs up. 

It was the smoothest way Lucas has ever ended a call with Miranda. He feels an ounce of pride.

After picking up what is left of the paper towels, and “cleaning” (cleaning is such a strong word for spreading a towel across the floor) the kitchen, he heads out to the Starbucks on West 66th and Colombus. The thought of facing his coffee maker again was embarrassing. Anyhow, the machine needs to prepare for Kasper’s entrance. Where he’ll indeed request four cups. 

“Come on sweetie, scooch, honey,” Kasper directs the friendly spider into the glass.

“Oh I know my sweetie pie but we’re bringing you to a lovely place in the common area. Your friends are gonna flip when they see how much weight you’ve put on.”

Lucas opens the apartment door and walks into the living room, where he sees Kasper standing in a corner with a glass.

“So we’re doing this again?” Lucas asks while setting down his coffee and taking his shoes off.

Kasper snaps his head back to Lucas, “I know, if it were up to me, Muffin here would be able to stay with us, but someone has an issue with that,” he says, clearly hinting Lucas is anti-spider.

“I don’t want that thing near me or my stuff,” Lucas replies. He realizes his mistake immediately.

Kasper turns red, “That thing?” He asks.

Lucas sighs again. “I’m sorry. I don’t want Muffin living here. He doesn’t pay rent.”

“Oh really? We’re talking about paying rent now? Right in front of Muffin? This from the man who still has mommy paying his bills?”

Lucas starts to respond, “that’s not fa-“is all he gets out.

Kasper continued, “I promise you Mr. Muffin makes a living the honest way. Mommy Beatrice doesn’t come by to build his web.”

“Your parents own 17 Targets,” Lucas argues.

“Yes but at least I acknowledge that,” Kaspers answers quickly.

“Why are you like this, even with any non-living object?” Lucas questions Kasper.

Kasper scrunches his face, “I’m not,” he defends himself.

Lucas squints his eyes in disbelief.

“Kasper, last night you bumped into a lamp and said ‘oh my, excuse me, my honey.”

“I elbowed her lamp shade!” Kasper argued as if Lucas is the unreasonable one.

“This conversation is over. Remove Muffin before I do.”

Kasper stands tall, his eyes filled with fire.

He walks up to Lucas and says slowly, “make one more threat to Muffin and I will cut off your balls then feed them to Muffin.”

Lucas backs away, “you need help,” he tries to sound confident. Lucas loves Kasper, but he has no doubt in his mind that Kasper will kill a man at some point in his life. Probably someone who hunts giraffes for sport.

Kasper gently nudges Mr. Muffin into the glass.

“Let’s get you into reading room in the hallway with all your friends,” he whispers to his pal.

Lucas starts to protest, “Why can’t you just bring it-” he corrects himself, “why not just bring Mr. Muffin outside?”

Kasper lets out a huff, “because, Lucas, indoor spiders are not used to the outside. How would you like it if we put you outside?”

“Honestly, if it means not being near you, I’m down,” Lucas answers.

“Keep talking, Mr Muffin will be sleeping in your bed tonight,” Kasper smiles.

“Did you eat breakfast yet?”

 Lucas ignores his last remark. He heads into the kitchen, where, of course, it’s spotless. Like a Roomba, Kasper’s one true goal is cleaning. Lucas had been gone eight minutes, and already the kitchen looks like it should be on Zillow.

Kasper tells him he’s eaten already. 

“What did you have?” 

“Coffee and a banana. You know, the Gay Breakfast.” 

“Do you want to maybe go and get something to eat at Olympic Flame?” Like a guinea pig and its owner, Lucas is only comfortable with going out with Kasper. No one grabs the attention away quite like him. 

“Sure, I’m in need for another cup of coffee,” Kasper responds with a straight face (well, not straight), holding his fourth cup of coffee of the morning in his right hand (and a glass cup with a spider, he would like us to mention). 

Lucas scarfs down his bacon and eggs while Kasper sits disapprovingly across from him. Hands folded, head shaking, Kasper watches as Lucas devours an animal. Lucas looks up as he chews and sees the death stare. 

“I’m not judging you,” Kasper responds as he looks off to the side. We’ll note, despite earlier reports, that Kasper is indeed judging Lucas. 

Once Kasper finishes his three cups of coffee and toast, the two head out. Kasper directs Lucas to take an alleyway near West End Ave. While usually, this wouldn’t be a concern in the middle of the day in the heavily guarded Upper West Side, Kasper didn’t do himself any favors when he dropped his wallet, and $800 fell out on the sidewalk. 

“I’m going to the ASPCA later!” Kasper had told Lucas. 

So it’s perhaps not a complete surprise when a man who saw the cash, as well as the two skinny men walking into an unsecured alley, decided to pay them a visit. 

As the man gets closer to the two, he puts on his Sunday clothes: A ski mask and a pistol. Lucas and Kasper hear the sound of the man setting the gun. They stop walking and slowly turn back. 

Usually, when a man with a ski mask on his face points a loaded gun at you, you oblige and dig out your wallet. Or, maybe you dig out a weapon and fight back. Kasper decided to go a slightly different route. On the other hand, Lucas took out his wallet, phone, apartment keys, and watch without being asked.  

“Get out your wallet now or I will blast you,” the man said to Kasper. There was no need to tell Lucas; he was practically bagging up the items for the robber. 

Kasper raises his eyebrows and puts his hand up, “wow not even a ‘hello how are you doing-get out your wallet?’” He questions.  

Lucas trembles and lets out, “Kasper, just get it out.”

“I’m not gonna pull it out right in front of two people. I need at least four more people. I only play to the big crowds.”

The man huffs and sticks the gun directly on Kasper’s forehead, “do you think I’m joking?” he asks. 

Kasper considers this genuinely and responds, 

“well, I hope not because that isn’t a very fun game. You see, I know children nowadays are forced to play what some in the media would call ‘politically correct’ games; frankly I think it’s important to consider what message your sending to our future leaders, and weather pointing guns at someone is okay.” 

The robber tries to interrupt, but Kasper isn’t finished,

“Now, in your case, you aren’t playing a game. So, I suppose this would be an acceptable situation for you to point a gun at me. 

“Whether or not this is a game I suspect you’ll receive some hefty criticism from Twitter. And sir, I can not protect you from them. They are rough, one wrong remark or murder, and boom, you’re canceled forever!” 

Kasper thinks for a moment and adds, “the exception of course being O.J Simpson.”

Lucas stops trembling for a moment and looks at Kasper in complete shock. 

Now, we can’t see the robber’s face through his mask, but even a Mexican tetra can tell his mouth is wide open in a complete state of shock. 

For those confused at home, a Mexican tetra is a blind fish. An adorable fish, Kasper would surely like us to add. Imagine a thumb, and there’s the Mexican Tetra. You could look it up, and certainly, we encourage you to do so. But not seeing this particular fish won’t impede your understanding of Kasper’s and Lucas’s dilemma. In fact, there’s a sort of refreshment in taking our word for it. Now that, friends, is how a subtle metaphor works. 

The robber, whose mouth is still open wide, struggles for words, which Kasper has simply never been able to relate to. 

“I, I c,” he clears his throat, “I said, give me your money, now, or I will kill you,” he gets back his toughness. Kasper's proud of him. 

He holds up his pointer finger and corrects the robber, “now, hold on, you didn’t say that at all. You said, and I’m quoting here, ‘get out your wallet now or I will blast you,’ so I can not be to blame for your inconsistent demands.”

After a moment of silence, Kasper digs through his pocket and get’s out his wallet. He sorts through his bills and asks the robber, “can you break a fifty?” 

The robber rolls his eyes and sighs, 

“No, but I can break you,” he answers rather aggressively as he puts the gun directly on Kasper’s cheek. 

Lucas watches, horrified, unable to speak.

Kasper squints and looks the man up and down. 

“You know, this kind of talk is starting to turn me on,” Kasper says unapologetically. 

“If you don’t give me that wallet right now I will shove this gun down your throat,” the robber screams. 

Here’s the thing, the robber should not have said this to the boy already making sexual jokes about this ordeal. Literally, every sexual conversation always leads to something down someone’s throat. But he said it, and now we all have to deal with the consequences. 

Kasper steps back and blushes, 

“Ooh, Mr. Robber you dirty, dirty boy!” he tells him. 

He continues, “let’s take to my bedroom.”

At this point, Lucas is ready to rob Kasper himself. Then gently give Mr. Robber the wallet.   

“This is not a GAME!” the robber roars. 

But Kasper has already walked out of the alleyway and onto the street, waiting for the robber to join him.

The robber evaluates himself for a while. Sure, he could follow Kasper to his apartment and steal even more, but is it worth the short walk and inevitable long conversation with the twink? Not that the robber has anything against them! Some of his favorite felons are gay! But this particular one is a nuisance.

The robber turns towards the other side of the street and stares down at Kasper. Then he looks at Lucas.

“I’m going to kill your friend,” he tells him. The robber feels not a bit nervous about Lucas’s presence. After he grabs Lucas’s belongings, the robber heads to Kasper. 

Lucas snaps out of his disbelief. Fury floods his mind. He runs toward the robber and grabs him hard, pushing him to the ground. The robber, completely puzzled, tries to get up, but Lucas kicks him right in the stomach. The robber yells out and tries to grab the gun off the pavement. Lucas eyes it and kicks it away. He jumps on top of the man and begins punching. 

Seconds later, Kasper comes running from the street, followed by three NYPD officers. 

Lucas jumps off the man as the officers grab him. 

After an hour of answering police officers’ questions, Kasper fears Lucas will be traumatized by the incident. No one feared this of Kasper, as he spent his time flirting with the office interviewing him. His name is Derek, and they’ll be getting coffee next Tuesday. 

But Lucas was smiling as they walked away from the scene. 

Thinking Lucas has become a changed man, Kasper asks him why he’s smiling.

“Well,” Lucas says happily, “I finally have enough confidence to cancel plans.”

Because, like Rudy Guliana losing his marbles, change happens slowly. 

July 30, 2021 02:44

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2 comments

Annalisa D.
02:50 Aug 04, 2021

This was a fun story. Lots of great description and good bits of humor.

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Garrett Michael
04:32 Aug 12, 2021

Thank you!

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