"Freeze! This is a stick-up!"
It was the kinda place that played John Cougar Mellencamp on an Aiwa boombox, y'know? Yeah, you know. The customers sat there, dumbfounded. They let the melting ice cream run down their hands.
The clerk was fat and ugly and greasy and he had stains all over his clothes. He must have been robbed before because he was just as calm as if he'd been selling Rocky Road. The more relaxed he got the more nervous I got.
I saw the clerk reaching for something under the register. In a panic I pointed my pistol at him. I fired six or seven shots. Maybe eight. At any rate, he was dead.
"Aw, Hell," I said. I never wanted to kill nobody. And yet there he was. There was this dumb son-of-a-bitch lying there like an idiot. Those God damn eyes were the worst part. It would have been easier to look at him if he closed his God damn eyes.
Obviously, the customers wanted out. They'd forgotten their sweets and rushed the door. But the kid stood at the exit with his shotgun. I bet he was just as nervous as they were. But that probably made killing easier for a kid like him anyway.
I skipped the counter. I took a key from the dead clerk's hand. That's what that dumb son-of-a-bitch was reaching for. Oh well. As I suspected, the key fit the register. I emptied the register into a burlap sack.
"Get down," I said. "Get down or I'll blow all your fucking heads off. I already killed a man, what's eight more?" Were there eight? I think there were eight. I fired into the air until the gun stopped firing. The kid still had the shotgun anyway. I don't know how many shots I fired but it was enough to convince them. It was like some sick joke. Here were these two murderers and here were a bunch of people bowing to them. I was too scared to think it was funny.
We walked outside, to the plaza. God damn Sun. Just my luck I gotta run around with a God damn ski mask on the hottest day of the year. We found my car. It was an old blue muscle car. I knew we'd have to destroy it but it was halfway there already. Luckily it started. I drove away with the kid.
At night we met up with the man in a suit. Or maybe he was a boy. It was hard to say. Anyway we were in the park and we told him what we needed. We needed him to launder our stolen money for a small cut. You couldn't be too careful—not when you killed a man in front of eight God damn people. We didn't tell him that, though. We were nervous, not stupid.
We took him to the bank. I left the engine running while he walked in. He was feeling pretty damn confident. This wasn't the first time he'd laundered money, I could see that. God damn businessmen are more crooked than I am. He walked out of the bank with a set of crisp banknotes. He got back in the car. It creaked uneasily.
I drove to a deserted part of town. I kept driving. I don't know how far we were from people. All you saw was trees. Fucking trees.
The man in the suit was the first to catch on. "What do you think you're doing, you son-of-a-bitch? Where the hell are you taking us?"
It's a curious thing, to kill a man. The first inspires a sense of great dread. But after the first the novelty is gone and the act is unremarkable.
I pondered this as I collected all the money for myself. Their heads' splattered contents decorated the windshield. I couldn't believe what a terrible thing I'd done.
I loved that car.