A Lovely Rest of the Day

Are you allowed to answer more than one question in the same day?

*  *  23  *  *

“Thank you for your business,” said the bank teller, waving.

The old woman waved back as she pushed open the door. “You have a lovely rest of the day!”

She walked down the street, shuffling around in her purse to make room for the stack of bills she had just withdrawn. A sudden gust of wind, however, drew her attention away as it picked up her hat and tossed it behind her. She tried and failed to catch it. As the old woman turned to go after it, she was met by a man in a dark blue hoodie.

“Here you are, ma’am,” he said, handing her the hat.

“Thank you so much, sweetie,” she said, placing it delicately back on her head. “And here.” She fished in her purse, pulling out a crisp ten dollar bill. “For your trouble.”

The man smiled. “Thank you miss,” he said.

The woman returned the smile. “Of course. You have a lovely rest of the day!” And she returned to her walk.

After a few minutes of walking, the old woman got an uneasy feeling on the back of her neck. Years of experience had taught her what it felt like to know someone was watching her. She casually turned her head as if looking back at the flower shop she had just passed and caught a glimpse of the young man who had caught her hat. His hands were in the pockets of his hoodie and his mouth was still fixed in a smile, though it had apparently forgotten to tell his eyes.

The old woman took a deep breath and decided to make sure everything was on the up-and-up. She turned down the next alley and paused halfway through, waiting to see what the young man would do.

Sure enough, he followed her into the alley, the smile now completely gone from his face. He stopped a few feet from her and pulled his hand out of his pocket, revealing a gun that he pointed directly at her.

“Give me the money!”

“No,” the old woman said calmly.

The mugger raised the gun higher, holding it at an angle the old woman knew would result in, at the very least, a broken wrist. “Give me the goddamn money, grandma!”

The old woman sighed and reached into her purse. She silently reveled in the look on the mugger’s face as she rifled around inside the bag. She was trying his patience, and they both knew it was on purpose. “Now, sweetie,” she said, “just give me sec to find it.”

The mugger shuffled his feet, shifting his eyes in every direction. He couldn’t take it anymore. “Screw this,” he said as he reached for the woman’s pearl necklace. The second he laid his hand on the pearls, however, the woman’s hand was around his wrist, holding him in a vice-grip that belied her age. A bang echoed around the brick walls of the alley.

And the mugger collapsed to the ground.

The old lady pulled the smoking gun out of her purse and began inspecting the hole in the bag. “Now look what you made me do,” she said to the corpse. “Now I have to buy a new bag!” She put her hands on her hips and looked around the alley. “Well? Aren’t you going to make it up to me?”

The corpse didn’t respond.

“Look, the least you can do is help pay for a new one.” The old woman bent over, flipped the corpse, and began to fish around in his pockets. “Just tell me I wasn’t your first mark today.” She pulled a wallet out of the inside pocket of his jacket. “Thank you,” she said as she stood up. “You have a lovely rest of the day!”

And she left the corpse to enjoy the rest of its day.


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