Friday, December 1, 2023
FictionStick ‘em Up! – Kersie Khambatta, New Zealand

Stick ‘em Up! – Kersie Khambatta, New Zealand


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It was pitch-black. Yip’s teeth shone like ivory.

“Hey man” he growled  “Give it”. He snatched the bottle from Jade and took a long gulp. They had been drinking home-made brew for two hours now. The air was still except for the blast from passing trucks.

“What we gonna do man” said Jade “Squat here for ever? Let’s go get a bank”

“Wh…Wh…What bank! Wh…Where?”

“Down the street, man. The one on the corner. That’s got that fat guy outside, leaning on the door, like he’s stoned or something”.

“Hold it. I ain’t finished yet.” He squeezed the bottle by the throat and lifted the bottom high up. “Okay. Let’s march. Where’s the knife?” He groped on the floor among the cigarette stubs but couldn’t find it. “You gonna give it to me…or I’ll slit your throat…like this” He waved his hairy dark muscular hand violently.

“Stick em up!” screamed a shrill squeaky voice from outside. “Or I’ll blow your brains out”

Yip and Jade were shell-shocked. They stayed glued to their seats, hypnotized by the stern command. They couldn’t see who it was. They were scared.  They didn’t move, couldn’t.

“Come out with your hands up! And don’t try anything funny. This here toy can knock a lion down at fifteen paces”.

The door creeped open. They slipped out trembling.

“ Hold it man” pleaded Jade “We ain’t done nothing. Just having a quiet drink.”

“You scum! You insects! Filthy hyenas! That’s my car. You stole it!”

Yip’s feet were shaking but he mustered enough courage to say:- “Naw! It’s not! We bought it from Joseph”.

“Bought it! You stole it. Liars! Humbugs! I’ll blast your brains out!”

Powerful headlights came thundering closer and revealed white hair, a pale, frail, female form and an ugly large revolver in a thin, wrinkled hand. “Now, down ..get down…hands behind your head… nose in the dust…you move an inch…and you’re…you…are…history!”

Yip spread his six feet two-hundred pound frame in the mud and Jade stretched out beside him. They heard the door bang shut, the noisy motor roar to life and a thick cloud of dust blanketed them.

Silence came softly tiptoeing in. They jerked up, ran down the road frantically as if to catch it with their bare hands, but it was gone!

Yip swore, kicked and swore again. Jade knew better than to say anything when Yip had his pressure up. He had lost a front tooth when Yip had lashed out at him. “She..stole it…that… that…” Yip ranted and raved.

Finally he sputtered- “Get the cops. Where are the cops!” He spat on the ground like an enraged viper.

“We can’t go to the cops, man, they’ll book us, man” whispered Jade.

Yip shouted:-“Our car, man… she stole it…I’ll screw her neck…like a chicken, man”.

Ten minutes later they were meandering down the road to the cop-shop. It wasn’t easy finding it, they staggered along, went in circles, but ended up in the right place.

The duty sergeant’s fierce eyes shot at them. “You been drinking, boys” he bellowed “Lock them up.”

“We been good, sarge. We ain’t done no harm. She stole our car at gunpoint!” The words came tumbling out. He couldn’t stop them. He had to hear what they said. Then he laughed, he laughed, he shook with laughter and the others there copied him as they must.

He knew them as regulars. He realized that they were not lying. They would never have come there. They wouldn’t dare. He took down the car details, and sent them away. He knew where to find them.

He ordered his underlings to find the car.

They eventually found it. They traced the ownership. Yip and Jade had bought it. Legal. So they were right.

The sergeant told his deputies to get the car, and whoever had it, to him. He nearly fell over when he saw her! She was short, thin, white, wrinkled and stern. She looked him straight in the eye and said:- “Well, officer, what is all this? Why have I been brought here? You better make it sound good, or I am going straight to my lawyer!”

“Ma’am, the car you are driving is not yours” he said gently.

“Not mine? What do you mean… not mine? Of course it’s mine.  I bought it just a few days ago from a car dealer” she stamped her foot on the floor, like a disturbed doe.

“Can I see proof, please?” he sounded almost apologetic.

She rummaged in her shoulder bag, and flung a paper on his desk.

He invited her to sit down, but she wouldn’t.

He pulled out another paper from his drawer and studied both side by side. Then his eyes shone with glee. He looked at her and grinned.  Widely.

Ma’am” he said triumphantly “The car you have is definitely not yours. You have an almost-identical car, with a different number plate.

You took the wrong car in the dark. At gunpoint! May I see your gun-license please?”

Editorial Team of Indian Ruminations.


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