Well it’s 560 words, so not *quite* a proper flash fiction. But something Fun For Friday. Who’s up for make Flash for Friday a regular thing?
“Good morning sir. Welcome to Esquire’s City Coffee Central. How best can I meet your refreshment needs?”
The girl’s smile was so wide Harry was momentarily assaulted with the mental image of the top of her head falling off, baseball cap and all. He opened and closed his mouth a few times, palming the gun in his pocket.
“I can recommend the half and half vanilla and hazelnut skim latte, on offer today in our 12 % on Tuesdays deal, when you purchase a granola muffin or bran bar. We also offer a further 5% if you upgrade to maximo-grande with our September loyalty bonus. Have you a loyalty card?”
“I am also authorised to inform you that this week only we are offering half price City Times subscriptions for three months when you spend £10 or more on our Home Cappuccino Instants.”
“Open the till,” Harry mumbled, glancing around.
“Open the till,” Harry managed a little firmer, looking the girl in the eye and gripping the gun.
“The till will only open if you make a purchase, sir.”
“Look,” Harry resisted the urge to wipe the sweat from his forehead. “Just…open the till.”
“I’ll need your order first, sir.”
Harry stared at her. She carried on smiling sweetly. “Fine. Coffee.”
“What size, sir? What flavouring? Milk? Skim or cream? Full caff, de-caff?”
“Just…” Harry bit his tongue. The person behind him sighed loudly. He looked around at the flashy art prints and the crowds of people, thought of the money in that till and squinted up at the board. “Java grande, black.”
“Great choice, sir,” the girl piped, tapping keys into her touch screen. “Can I have your E-coupon?”
“You E-coupon, sir. You are in the Express Service queue. I cannot serve you at this till without an E-coupon reference. You can purchase them on our website or with our new app.”
“Get shift on, mate,” someone muttered behind him. “My tube only leaves once every fifteen minutes.”
“Look, I want you to open the till. Now.” Harry pulled out the gun and let it hang at his side.
She made a regretful moue. “I’m sorry, sir. You will have to move to the other queue. Next please.”
The man behind shouldered forward and started jabbering in coffee-speak. Harry blinked at the other queue, snaking out the door and sighed.
“And what are you confessing to, sir?”
“Armed robbery,” Harry said, putting his gun on the counter. “Fifteen counts over the last twenty years. And another…attempted…this morning.”
The young police woman examined him bit doubtfully. “And…what made you want to turn yourself in now?”
“I’m too old for this game.”
“Very well sir,” she said. “If you could go to the booth in the corner and follow the instructions on screen to the Confession Module. There is a laminate on the wall providing full details of the multiple choice answers you can select between and you will be able to generate a predicted sentence using the Advocate tab. Please save as you go and be sure to include your unique Trial Reference which you can generate on our website or with our new app. Have you brought your E-counsel coupon with you?”