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I've always appreciated the mundane. If you want to see me at my best, it's when I'm involved in something completely meaningless to toil away on, or simply expect nothing at all of me.
I worked security at this small bank on the outskirts of town. It was new and clean. Fresh. The only thing I loved more than the tediousness of standing motionless by the front doors was the smell of sanitizer, which greeted me each morning.
I know I'm odd. I've made peace with that.
I'm not as odd as the robber who broke up my winning streak of doing nothing, however. I had been hired on because of the occasional drunk or otherwise strung-out a-hole who'd amble in looking to get a few bucks either from the staff or worse yet a citizen on their way out.
Even these situations were beautifully abysmal. I had an inner list of common phrases I'd use on these folks... sort of like an automated answering service.
1.) "Calm down, please, sir." 2.) "We can talk about it outside, sir." 3.) "I understand, sir." 4.) "We don't want any trouble, sir."
The robber, however, threw me for a loop. It was near closing time, and I knew he was trouble the second he passed my gaze. He wore all black, boots and trench coat, and beneath that coat he wore a bright red hooded sweatshirt... with the hood up.
He was also wearing thick sunglasses, a sure sign of trouble.
"Excuse me, sir!" I called out as the man stormed past me. He froze for a moment and did not turn around. His pale, dirty hand reached for his coat pocket, and I knew I was in trouble.
"Sir, I'm going to have to ask you to turn around..." my own hand felt for the taser on my belt. They wouldn't let me carry a gun, and I hadn't even wanted one until this awkward, strangely disconcerting moment.
"Be calm, child," the strange, lanky man hissed.
Child? That was a new one! I could easily be his Grandfather!
"Again, I'm going to have to ask you to turn around, sir..." I drew the taser and gestured for the women behind the front desk to get on the floor.
"Very well," he replied.
The man turned in place, which is to say he rotated to face me without so much as moving his feet. It was a good trick, but nothing you couldn't see from some scumbag street performer.
"Put your hands behind your head please, sir."
He obliged, a sick grin spreading across his deathly white face. As I approached him to perform a pat-down, I noticed the freak had either filed his teeth... all of them... to points, or he'd invested in some very expensive dental work.
The expensive surgery didn't seem likely, as he smelled like musty old filth.
"Sorry, child," the man said in the same monotone, hollow voice he'd been using, "You've made this a necessary evil."
With lightning fast reflexes, the robber seized me by the throat with one hand, placed the other hard between my legs, and lifted me clean over his head on in one smooth motion. I made some horrible, unexpected sound akin to a dog having its choke chain yanked.
"Shall I keep my hands behind my head, now?" He laughed as I quickly felt my air supply being squeezed out of me, my face turning flush.
Luckily... unluckily... depending on how you look at it... he finally let me go as he flung my rag doll body across the room. I took out a row of wooden chairs as I slid across the freshly waxed floor.
"Now, if you ladies would be so kind," he turned back to the desk as I could only lie there with the pain of several broken bones, "I think you know what I want."
The women obeyed, and I didn't blame them for a second! Girl after girl passed the heavy metal door and came back out with whatever they could carry. It seemed like no matter how many bags they placed in the robber's cold grip, he remained unaffected by the weight.
As the strange man turned and left the building, he flashed those razor-teeth at me. I think it was supposed to be a smile.
I don't think I'm going back there, even after I'm done healing. I enjoy spending my days uneventfully. I like peace and quiet and the safety that comes from an established routine.
If you can't find that in a blood bank, then I don't know what this world's coming to.