“Yes, officer,” the fast food restaurant manager said. “That man right over there. The one in the blue shirt.” A scrawny arm with gnarled fingers pointed.
The officer saw the person indicated. A large pile of straws, coffee stirrers, and various condiment packets floated in the air in front of the man. The mass of items flowed to a garbage bin where a young woman waited with a smile.
“Excuse me,” the officer said as he approached the man. “I need your statement. Start with your name.”
The man in the blue shirt turned and wiped the sweat from his eyes. “Um, my name is Felix Emerson.” He paused as the officer wrote his name on the pad of paper. “Well, I was here for lunch.” Felix continued on with his version of the events.
As the ten minute mark approached, the officer closed his notebook. “Thank you, Mr. Emerson.”
“People call me Flix,” Felix said with a shrug. “I hope you’re able to prosecute that guy. He technically didn’t rob the place, but there had to be another crime.”
“That’s out of my hands,” the officer said. He waved, turned and walked outside.
“Here’s your order, Flix,” the store manager said. “My compliments.”
“Wow!” Flix took the offered bag and soda. “Thank you, kindly.”
Several weeks later and Felix has stopped for lunch again. This time at one of the more modern soup and sandwich shops. He placed his order and moved to the counter where food was being served.
A crash sounded and a loud shout echoed through the restaurant. “You know the drill,” the loud voice said. A short shotgun with a strap hung under an arm.
Felix turned and saw a figure clad in thick leather pants and jacket. A dark red hockey mask covered the face.
“Gimme the money in the registers and in the safe and no one gets hurt,” the man said, storming up to the registers. He held the gun in one hand and swung it in front of the cashiers.
“That voice sounds familiar,” Felix said. He stepped in the general direction of where the violence was happening.
“Get back man,” the red masked man said. “You don’t wanna—” He paused and lowered his firearm. “I remember you.”
“Crap,” Felix said.
“They couldn’t really arrest me, cause they couldn’t make the charges stick,” the man said. He tilted his head. “It’s like I’m bulletproof.”
“Now,” Felix said. “I don’t know about that.”
“At least straw proof,” the man laughed. “You see, last time you got the drop on me. Plus there were a lot of straws, stirrers and other things for you to throw at me.”
“That stuff’s here,” Felix said. He kept his hands in plain sight and turned his head. A straw dispenser sat next to the condiments on the counter nearby.
“Yeah,” the masked man said. “I ain’t wearin’ no t-shirt and shorts this time.” He splayed his hands and looked over his body. “In fact, you won’t even get a lucky shot at my eyes.” A thick gloved finger tapped the mask at the temple. “High strength mesh covering the holes.”
“I see that,” Felix said. “Just get on with it, then.”
“You ain’t got nothing that’ll hurt me.” Again, the man laughed, jerking his head back and shaking his shoulders.
In a smooth motion, Red Mask gripped the handle of his shotgun and leveled the business end at Felix.
Diving to the side, and through an archway, Felix waved a hand at the soda fountain area. Every napkin left the holder and zoomed between the man in the mask and Felix. The boom of the shotgun sounded. Several nearby people screamed and broke into a panic-run. In small waves they fled from the restaurant.
Rolling to his feet, Felix waved a hand again. This time all the paper-covered straws flew, javelin-like at Red Mask. When they hit, they bounced harmlessly off the thick clothing and hard mask.
Without even bothering to flinch or even swat the annoyances away, Red Mask shouted, “You have nothing that even hurts me!” He laughed again, only louder.
Dashing through the archway, Red Mask aimed his small hand-cannon at Felix. The laughter hadn’t stopped, but it had settled to a rumbling chuckle.
Looking for cover, Felix’s eyes did a double take. On the garbage can in the dining room, he saw something. Above the trash can, two metal cylinders with several metal handles sticking out at different angles. The small sign above them read, don’t throw our silverware in the trash. Darting for the wooden stand, he snaked his hands towards the cylinders. Wrapping his fingers around the cool metal, he turned and faced the masked man.
Felix’s lips slid into a one-sided smirk. “Are you sure about that?” With a quick jerk, he shook both draining cans at the same time. Their metallic clink echoed in the restaurant, drawing the laughter to silence.
In a whipping motion, Felix tossed both metal canisters at the masked man.
The boom of the shotgun reverberated in the narrow area.
Felix juked to the side but kept his focus on the red mask. Forks lined up and nailed the same spot on the mask, between the mesh-covered eyes. The repeated blows moved the masked head back and lifted the chin. After the staccato of the forks on hardened plastic stopped, the slaps of spoons on skin sounded next. On the fourth hit of his throat, the masked man choked. He dropped his weapon and leaned forward.
Running, Felix waved both arms in unison. Every spoon in the dining room answered his unspoken command and aimed for the back of the masked man’s knees. The bombardment of the thin metal eating utensils buckled the legs, putting the masked man on the ground.
Dashing forward, Felix ripped the gun from gloved hands and pulled at the buckles holding the strap of the weapon. As he stood, Felix flipped the mask off the face. “This time,” Felix huffed. “I bet the charges stick.”