So, hi! I doubt a lot of people will read this, but I'm glad you're here to give my stupidly sarcastic story and protagonist a chance.
I hope you have a good time reading it, also hope I manage to get a small laugh or something out of you, but without further ado, enjoy!
A Gun, some Trolls and a Ginger
The sun had gone down about three hours ago, but the street lights seemed to be even brighter, almost blinding, and they gave me yet another reason to be in a rotten mood. My entire day had been something for the dumps, starting right off with my failure of an alarm and break-down of my car on my way to work. Serious inconvenience, because I worked with computers, how was I supposed to deal with cars? Where do I correct the code, huh? Nowhere, because cars suck.
It might not have been too bad, had my boss done the usual and stared at his computer screen with an expression that had always reminded me of a neighing horse. The kind of look, that he only got when he watched the filthiest porn in the hub. On the hub. Porn hub. You know what I mean.
And today, I would have loved to see the neighing face that had always made me gag before. I would have smacked a kiss to his sweaty cheek, because him ignoring his employees might have made up for the twenty-minute walk in the glaring sun.
But no, he'd chosen today to set up a surprise meeting and, huh, what sad proceedings, I'd missed it. By three minutes. Almost ended up losing my job for it too, had it not been for Harley, my savior. She'd been like an angel saving me from hell. Shining and shimmering with her way too bright highlighter and neon lipstick when she'd come to the boss' office during my, uh, disciplinary… Evaluation?
Seriously, I'd have hugged her, had my boss not looked about ready to explode and cover me with the green goo he called blood – no one with a nose like that could be human – when she reported her mishap with a client's papers. The very ones I'd seen her pat against her lips and feed to the shredder earlier on in the week. She was like a very unlikely kind of Deus Ex Machina.
Unfortunately, the downs of the day clearly outweighed the ups, so after a nerve racking day of work, I ended up waiting for the bus for half an hour, only to find out that it didn't make it's rounds on Fridays. Go figure.
Somehow, through side streets and frustration, I ended up in a park. The last light of the sunset had been a boring sliver of disgusting burgundy and the streetlights along the pathway stung my eyes. The wind rushed through the trees at an almost aggressive speed. A couple of leaves broke from the branches and of course they flew directly into my face, because, heck, why not pile it on. It almost didn't feel normal anymore, like something was seriously trying to mess with my day, or maybe even life, but I try to avoid being overdramatic.
And then the sunset had been entirely too boring, and I somehow got to the park,
Or maybe being overdramatic wouldn't have been unjustified, because the second I got the annoying leaves out of my eyes, the nuzzle of a gun tapped against my forehead.
Now, I've never had the most natural and realistic reactions to stressful situations, so what I said next fit right in there. Though it wasn't something to be particularly proud of.
"Are you fucking with me?"
It was more of a rhetorical question, obviously, but the mugger shrugged anyway. He looked old, like above sixties old, but despite the crooked posture and the saggy clothes, he loomed over me like a bear did over a rabbit. In this case, it wasn't drool that was dripping onto my shoulders, but his flabby skin. The guy's arm was unsteady, and it trembled along with the little wind that blew through the park. I could see the way the pupils of his eyes dilated and contracted, and they trembled along with his arm and his gun and my anger.
I swear, this whole day had fucked me over good and then, to top it all off, nice and sweet with sugar on top, I was getting mugged? Fuck no. Especially not when the mugger looked like he was more afraid than I was of what the gun was capable of.
"Gimme yer money 'n yer phone, or I'll blow yer brains out." He nuzzled and slurred and he reeked of cheep liquor.
When I didn't react to the threat I had barely even heard, mind you, his index finger traced the butt of the gun and settled comfortably on the trigger.
I've seem some detective films. I know how these things tend to end when the victim refuses to follow the orders of the guy in charge, but this poor excuse of a person was so obviously not in charge. Why? Well, he was still shaking, and I know for a fact that it wasn't just from whatever booze or drugs he'd pumped into his system. I could see the nervousness and fear in his eyes and even his stance was unsure.
Also: The safety was still on.
"Look, I don't feel like doing this right now, so do me a favor and rob some jogger instead. I've had a shit day and I'm not losing my phone right along with my dignity."
Again, probably a stupid move on my part, though I always used to be pegged as the calm one. Calm and collected and anything but stupid, but maybe it's the office job and the rarity of seeing actual faces instead of suits. I won't take the blame in any regard.
"Ye got a gun to yer head, ye prick. Hand it over. 'N no funny business," he said, his long, slug-like eyebrows slid further together on his forehead and smoothly met in the middle. And honestly, it might have been the weird description that became reality in my head or the fact that he still hadn't realized that the safety was on, but either way, I burst out laughing.
It was the kind of dry wheezing you do after you've run a marathon and fell a bunch of times because there are a startling number of competitive douchebags that happen to stick their leg in front of yours at just the right time. There was choking involved too, at some point, though I'm not sure whether that was on my part or the mugger's, because when I finally managed to stand up straight again, he looked awfully surprised and a little green.
Maybe it had finally sunken in that he had to pull the trigger. Or maybe he just thought I was a nut job - it was all the same to me.
"I'll shoot ye, ye hear me? Just gimme yer money and ye can go back to yer life, aight?" he insisted, and it was ridiculous, because he could so clearly see from my face that I'd more likely climb a tree in my suit, than do as I was told.
I, on the other hand, saw that he was indeed about to pull the trigger, and he would have, had there not been a hand, seemingly appearing out of nowhere, falling down on his shoulder. The mugger jumped about ten feet high and I admit, there was a tiny shriek that escaped me as well.
"You forgot the safety," the new guy said, easily grabbing the gun.
Obviously, I was quite sure that I was fine then, that the guy would go ahead and call the police, he and I would shake hands and I'd never have to see his ginger head again, but things were really not going my way today. New dude first smirked at me, then the mugger, then back at me and winked, and I swear, I saw what he was about to do in my head.
Gingey flicked the switch and handed the god damn gun over.
I'm not sure if I was still breathing by the time he let out a laugh. I'm also not sure I did when Mr-mugger-next-door first looked confused and then nodded, before pointing the barrel back at my face. He was practically squashing my nose then - which was apparently at exactly the same level as his shoulder - as if mocking my height and I would have spat him in the face – because fuck him - if I hadn't been too busy not breathing and staring at asshole McGee, who was still grinning.
Fuck him too.
"Aight, now, gimme yer money." Wonderful. Great repetition of the same vocabulary.
"What the fuck, dude," I said. Fair enough question if you ask me, though probably not perfectly timed. I mean, I didn't know if the gun was loaded, but the possibility of being shot had risen quite a bit after the safety had been switched off. Also, getting shot in the nose usually messes up open-casket funerals and I do want any and all exes of mine to cry for my beauty. Highly unlikely, but hey, a pretty-much-dead-guy can dream.
"I'm just helping this guy out. Besides, all you have on you is like ten bucks anyway," Gingey said with a shrug, but the worried furrow of his brows betrayed his attempt at nonchalance.
"How the hell would you know?"
"Well fuck you and your lucky guesses, he's not getting my phone." I glared with all I had, and I feel like it would have melted away icebergs faster than global warming, but this guy seemed immune, somehow. I think I might have smacked him, had it not been for the eminent threat of losing my life.
"About that…" Gingey gave me an apologetic look, even lifted his eyebrows. It blew my annoyance right out of proportions.
"What? What do you mean, 'about that'?" I yelled, and the mugger urged me to put my hands up, by not so gently jabbing the gun harder against my face. I'm sure I must have looked like a proper nut job myself just then, although seeing someone lose their shit when being mugged wasn't out of the ordinary. Maybe not like that, granted.
"You lost it at the busstop."
First, I narrowed my eyes at him, then forgot about the gun dilemma and the fact that I could very likely be shot for taking my hands down and fumbled around in my pockets and sure enough; gone it was. Suspicious.
I'd have accused him of theft, perhaps even kleptomania - because someone had to whip out fancy vocabulary when one was a potential criminal and the other was a definite criminal in possession of a lexicon a five-year-old could outdo – at the very least I'd have called him a fucking stalker, but the mugger let out an annoyed grunt and distracted me –
By clubbing me on the head with the butt of the gun.
It didn't even particularly hurt at first, it was more the surprise that knocked me off my feet. The pain came soon enough, though, and it spread just like the pulses of anger and frustration and loathing I'd piled up all day. When I looked up again, my ten bucks were gone and so was the mugger, leaving behind his ginger companion, who seemed just as shocked as I did.
The expression on his face morphed from shock, to brief realization, to obvious guilt and he bent over to give me a hand and pull me up after a second. I got up, ignoring his hand and he had the audacity to look hurt.
"Are you okay?" he said anyway.
"Do I look fucking okay?" I retorted. I could feel the blood leaking from my temple and it was soaking through my best shirt and fuck today. It was the worst.
It might have been my head injury that made everything a bit more loopy than usual, but it seemed to take me forever to finally realize that he was dabbing a tissue to my wound, as if it was something entirely natural, and I managed to maneuver my arm to slap his away.
"What the hell are you still doing here? Don't you have to go be a hero to all those poor criminals that don't know how to use their guns?"
"No, no, this was a misunderstanding, I thought –"
"Right, sure, whatever, feel free to take a long walk off a short pier whenever you feel like it."
I walked off, my wonderfully sculpted and masterfully constructed frown that I've been perfecting for years was gracefully placed upon my features and it finally felt like a small victory, getting to leave this shithead babbling behind me. But no. Destiny, God, the universe and this dude just seem to take pleasure in fucking my day up more.
"Listen to me, they don't hurt people!" he yelled and sprinted ahead of me just to block my path. He was waving his hands in front of himself like the madman he was.
This time my laughter was shrill as all hell. Like nails-on-a-chalkboard shrill. Or fork-on-a-plate shrill. Take your pick. But the notion this guy had just topped off all the bullshit I'd lived through already.
"Man, you really have your head on backwards if you think that guy, with a loaded gun, that literally hit me in the temple right in front of you wouldn't hurt anyone," I scoffed, trying to bump his shoulder and possibly have some of my blood splatter on his t-shirt.
"What? Wait, no, not him," he pointed back, over his shoulder, "I just thought he was them."
He shrugged helplessly when I looked at him. As if he'd done his best to explain and he was waiting for an elaborate acceptance of his non-verbal apology as well as my complete understanding of his situation. And I was offering none of that. He most definitely belonged in the loony bin.
"Are you sure he didn't hit you in the head, too?"
"No! I mean the trolls that've been following you around all day. They can't physically harm anyone, they just instigate misfortune," he had a naïve kind of honesty in his eyes and I might have bought whatever he'd said, had it not been something straight out of a bad fantasy novel.
"Well, that's great, but I have some advice for you. If you take a right at Main Street and head straight for three miles you'll end up at this big white house, can't miss it, and you walk right up to the desk with the nice person and tell them you need help, okay? It'll help, trust me."
"Right at Main Street…? Isn't that the hospital?"
"Yes, exactly, go get your head fixed and stop trying to get people killed."
And that was that. I walked off, went to sleep and the next day was brilliant, the weather was beautiful, I got promoted and found a hundred dollars at the foot of my doorstep…
Not. Gingey caught up to me again, of course, this time frantically apologizing but also adding in the occasional 'I'm not crazy' or 'just listen and I'll explain'. He was a mess and I was still bleeding and all I wanted to do was get home and sleep for three years. Would that have been too much to ask? Apparently so.
"Look, trolls get scared real quick. They can't handle being confronted with a situation like that and I thought that would get them to leave you alone, you know? How was I supposed to know it was just a normal mugger? I'm still new at this!" he was babbling, like a little kid babbles when it's got its mouth full of water, though that's more like gurgling, so maybe it isn't quite the same. I miss when times weren't this complicated.
"Will you stop with the trolls?!" I yelled, throwing my hands in the air in exasperation and stomping my foot on the ground. "Making stuff up won't change the fact that you almost got me shot, in the head, of all places! Do you even know how inconsiderate that is?!"
And then everything went to hell.
So it goes. Hope you liked it! Let me know! :)
See you next time, hopefully :))