Very short story inspired by a writing prompt posted by Rachel Poli. Subject: masks
THE BANK ROBBERY
A masked man entered the bank. He went to the nearest window, pulled out a pistol, and held it low as he pointed it at the teller.
“Fill this up!” the bank robber ordered as he tossed an empty paper sack at the teller.
The surprised teller picked up the sack as he stared at the pistol. Then he looked up at the bank robber, and started to chuckle.
“What the hell are you laughing at?” the bank robber said angrily. “I’ve got a gun!”
“Your mask,” the teller answered between chuckles. “It’s ridiculous.”
The bank robber was flabbergasted. “Your life is in danger and you’re laughing at my mask?!”
“But it’s a clown mask,” the teller explained after he finally composed himself. “And a loud, garish one at that.”
“Well how do you expect to be taken seriously as a bank robber if you look like an escapee from the circus?” the teller pointed out as he started laughing again.
“Will you just fill that up with the top drawer so I can get out of here?” the bank robber demanded. “I’ve got places to be!”
“Oh, of course, right away,” the teller assured as he picked up the sack. He slid open the top drawer, then started laughing again. “Seriously? A clown mask?”
“Okay, you made your point. Now give it a rest!”
“I mean, could you imagine John Dillinger wearing a clown mask? Or Bonnie and Clyde? Everyone would laugh at them!”
“Maybe I didn’t have time to find a proper ask. Did you consider that?”
“All right, sorry for laughing at you,” the teller apologized as he kept laughing. “It’s just so totally absurd!”
“I don’t believe this,” the bank robber said with exasperation.
“Look, it’s not you, it’s me,” the teller admitted. “I just tend to laugh at inappropriate times.”
The bank robber threw up his hands. “You know what? I don’t need this.” He began to leave.
“Now wait a minute, I’ll get you your money.”
“I didn’t come here to get laughed at!” The bank robber put the pistol back in his pocket and walked away. “I’ve got feelings too,” he muttered under his breath.
“Aw, c’mon,” the teller called after the bank robber. “I promise I won’t put in the exploding ink cartridge.”
The bank robber exited out the front door, got into a getaway car, and shook his head discouragingly at the driver. The driver looked dejected as he drove off.
The teller looked at the empty paper sack and thought of the bank robber’s lost opportunity. “Some people just don’t know how to laugh,” he said with pity as he slid the top drawer shut.
©2018 Robert Kirkendall