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Armed Robbery

Armed Robbery

by Kynan Patram

“Just the gas for you, ma’am?” said Amanda, stationed behind the till on a cold, dark Tuesday evening.

The woman in front of her nodded.

Amanda rung up her bill on the register, and the woman tapped her card against the debit machine’s screen. A moment later, the receipt rolled out into Amanda’s waiting fingers.

“Have a nice day then!” she said, putting on a fake smile as she handed the woman the receipt.

The woman tipped her head and then walked out of the gas station.

Amanda folded her arms on the counter and sank her head into them. It had been an ordinary day at her boring job, and she still had hours to go. She began thinking about her new boyfriend, James, who had just moved in with her and annoyingly called her cupcake, when the bell chimed, signaling another customer.

Looking up, her heart immediately skipped a beat. A tall, burly man wearing a black ski mask had just entered the station, his hands buried deep inside his jacket pockets.

“Empty the till!” he ordered at once in what seemed to be disguised, husky voice, as he approached the till where Amanda had frozen stiff.

She just stared at him, wide eyed and barely breathing.

I said … empty the till, b-tch!” the thug barked again. Then he pulled a handgun out of his pocket and aimed it right at her forehead.

Amanda bit her lip. She thought back to her training days. They were supposed to just cooperate with thieves, weren’t they? Especially if there were firearms involved. She couldn’t remember. Her mind seemed to have switched off completely.

“You wanna die, honey?” the thug asked, shoving the barrel within an inch of Amanda’s face.

In a flash, her hands were at the cash register. The drawer popped open, and she began dishing out handfuls of nickels.

“What’s the matter with you, b-tch!” the thug hissed, banging the counter with his free hand. “Not those, goddammit – give me the bills! The bills, you dumb sl-t!”

Amanda shuddered, as her hands jumped over to the dollar bills. Perhaps out of habit or else nervousness, she began counting them out on the counter in front of the thug. “Twenty – forty – sixty –”

“Shut – the – f-ck – up!” the thug cut in, his voice still rasping unnaturally. “I don’t need you to count it for me! What do I look like? Just put it in a bag. Got it? ”

Amanda nodded quickly.

With her hands shaking, she snagged a plastic bag from beside the till and began piling the money into it.

“Good,” grunted the thug, snatching the bag from out of her hands when she had finished. “Now get the rest of it.”

Amanda frowned. “What do you mean?”

The thug slammed a fist on the counter. “From the safe.”

“We … we … we don’t have a safe.”

“Are you lying to me, b-tch?” the thug asked, narrowing his eyes through the holes in his ski mask. “Don’t play games with me – or I’ll mess you up real good.”

“I-I-I’m not lying.”

The thug swore harshly. “But that’s only a couple hundred bucks,” he muttered, holding the bag of cash up to his eyes. After a moment, he gazed around the store. “What else do you got – cigarettes … put all of them in a bag.”

“These bags are the only size we have,” Amanda said, “and they won’t all fit.”

The thug sighed. “Well, find something else then, cupcake.”

Amanda’s jaw dropped. “Cupcake – what the hell?” She narrowed her eyes. “J-J-James … i-i-is that you?” She leaned closer, over the counter to get a better look at him.

His eyes darted around in every which direction and he pushed his mouth to the side. He looked like a kid caught with a hand in the cookie jar.

A prolonged silence followed.

Amanda’s hands shot to her hips. “I know it’s you, James … and you are so in deep sh-t right now!” Her voice grew piercingly high. “Oh, and I’m a b-tch … and a dumb sl-t, am I?” She shifted her weight from one leg to the other. “I can’t believe you just threatened me, you d-ck!”

James stammered, but no coherent words came out.

“Of all the people you could choose, you had to pick me … your own girlfriend, huh?” Amanda shrieked, grabbing the gun out of his hand as if taking something from a child. “I almost had a heart attack, you dumbass! What’s the matter with you?”

“I-I-I …”

“You stuck a gun in my face?” cried Amanda. “A gun!” Then she pointed it between his eyes.

“Amanda …” James pleaded.

“You are so sleeping on the couch tonight … you know that, you little pr-ck.”

James posture changed drastically. He now looked like a dog with its tail tucked in between its legs.

“And give me that money back,” demanded Amanda, stretching out her free hand.

James meekly handed it over.

“Now, get out of here!” Amanda shouted, placing the gun on the counter and sliding it over to him. “And if my boss happens to look at the videotape, don’t expect me to lie for you.”

James dropped his head onto his chest, and just stood still for a moment.

“I said … go … shoo!” Amanda hissed, wiggling her fingers at the door.

James picked up the gun and shuffled to the door. He placed his hand on the handle and pushed it open.

“Wait!” Amanda called out suddenly.

James turned around with a look of shame on his face.

“Do you want to pick up some milk – we’re almost out.”

James nodded. “Yes, cupcake,” he said in a lifeless voice, then he slumped out of the store.


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