Friday, August 13, 2010

Flash Fiction Friday (the 13th): H&H Rob the 42nd Street Bagle Bros. Bagel Shoppe

Note:  This one's a bit absurd and plays with some cliches, but was fun.  It originally started as an exercise to see what I could come up with in 10 minutes. Maybe this stems from the massive amounts of comics I've been reading...


Hubert stepped into the bagel shop and held up the gun.  He popped three quick shots into the ceiling to show that he meant business.  The screams stifled when he threw angry glares around the room.  “I’m not here to hurt anybody,” he said, his sing-song voice squeaking melodiously, “but I am prepared to if’n I have to.”

Behind him, dressed in a matching purple jogging suit and white fanny pack, his brother Herbert snorted.  Hubert glared at him, too, and the younger sibling quietened.  “Who here can tell me about Jonny Beatnick?”  He surveyed the terrified patrons.  In all it looked about fifteen people.  One man, possibly in his fifties, appeared to have either peed himself or spilled coffee down his front.  There was a young couple sitting snugly at the settee, a laptop resting on their conjoined knees shaking furiously.  A few middle-aged professionals stood in the queue, briefcases and cells in their hands.

With all the speed and accuracy of Clint Eastwood, Hubert fired a bullet through a man’s hand that was holding a phone.  While the stunned victim cried out, Hubert continued.  “Now I hope nobody else plans on alerting the police like our dear hero was, or perhaps I might not be so exact with my next shot.  In fact,” he licked his teeth and nodded, “it’d be best if we just all threw down our phones now.”

Herbert was now at the counter, holding king size pillow case.  “Schweetie,” he said, hiccuping, “why don’t you pop open that cash drawer there and drop it in the bag.”  The terrified cashier nodded, her ponytail bobbing.  Hubert watched  for a moment and then went back to his directions, nodding at the cell phones slapping the ground.

“Nobody knows Jonny Beatnick?  He’s impossible to miss.  A big fella, maybe three hundred pounds.  Always in Hawaiian shirts.  Loves bagels?  Anybody?  I have it on good authority he frequents this bagel shop often.”  He was kidding himself if he actually expected an answer.  The hand-shot man was writhing on the floor and the cashier was sobbing hysterically.

“Please don’t kill me.  P-p-please.  I-I’m...”

“Oh hush, darlin’, I ain’t gonna hurt you.  Couldn’t dream of hurting a cutie like yourself.”  Herbert smacked his lips and sauntered back over to his brother, bag of cash in hand.

“I thank you all kindly for your assistance today,” Hubert said, unzipping the fanny pack around his waist and pulling out a photo.  “But I’m really interested in finding Mr. Beatnick.  Perhaps this picture will--”

His voice faded into a gargle as he collapsed on the floor.  Herbert turned to his brother and came face to face with the super hero.  Donned in a bright floral shirt and a rubber mask that looked like a child’s Halloween face, Lei Man shook his head slowly at the still-standing robber.

“B-B-Beatn--”  Lei Man’s fist slammed into Herbert’s nose, blood spraying from the impact.  The criminal swung the heavy cash bag, but the hero ducked and uppercutted with a Fist of Lei.  Herbert flew in a neat arc and crashed into a table and chair.  The man groaned.

“Get up, Herbert,” said Lei Man.  “Or should I say Moon Boy?”

The bagel patrons all gasped at once.  Someone’s phone rang out a dramatic duh-dun-dunn!  The disgraced criminal cackled.  When he stood, the oafishness that had been there before was replaced by raw malice and genuine instability.  An elongated cat-o-nine had somehow appeared in his hand.  “Very good, Lei Man.  How did you know it was me?”

Lei Man laughed.  “Who else could it be, Herbie?  You’re the only one left.  All the rest are dead, in prison, or retired.  It’s just you and me now, old friend.”

“Ha!  Is that what you think?  There’s a whole new breed rising, Lei, with ideals that put ours to shame.  Dreams of domination.  Of suffering!  Hahahaha!”

Lei Man popped his knuckles and cracked his neck.  “Well let’s get this over with then.”  Moon Boy nodded, bringing up the cat-o-nine as he did so.  The whip smacked inches from Lei Man.  Moon Boy slashed it around the room, some of the tails cutting into stunned patrons.  Lei Man growled and barrelled toward the final rogue.

It was there, in the tiny bagel shop that the world’s last super hero and villain fought.  The battle was fierce and the bloodshed plenty, for these were true men, fighters of their passions, not ethics.  And when the dust finally settled, when the screaming and the cursing finally ground to a halt, when the newspaper’s had their photos and the reporters their stories, there were free bagels for all.

Word Count: 774

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