I hadn’t expected it this way, but this is actually a little sad.
I have been posting these stories for almost a year now, and it’s been such a ride, going up and down, fighting against time, struggling for new ideas, and now, I’m almost to the point where I can close the story and move on. I’m not sure if I like it. But I still think this is for the best, and I believe I’ll be able to come up with some really cool stuff for you guys here. But endings are always sad.
Next week will be the last update of Quin and Tannenbaum.
“This is quite a moment for us.” Quin said. He and the cashier of the Sinclair gas station had locked themselves in the bulletproof enclosure that housed the cash register and the cashier, and right now were sharing a bag of chips in full view of the gunman trying to rob the gas station and the hostage he held at gunpoint.
“How so?” the cashier asked, helping herself to a handful of chips.
“Here we are, relaxing in this glass box, sharing chips, watching the gunman threaten that guy. This is a great moment that we’re sharing together. I think we’re bonding.” Quin said.
The cashier girl, who Quin had nicknamed Depressing Poetry Girl, sent a level gaze over at the young man sitting beside her.
“We’re not bonding. We’re eating chips. You pushed yourself into my bulletproof enclosure and left the other guy outside. You might as well have thrown him to the wolves.” she said.
“I tried to bring him with me. He refused. It just didn’t work out. It’s not my fault. I can’t make someone’s decisions for them.” Quin had another chip. “Although it’d be sweet if I could.”
Depressing Poetry Girl looked at him.
“You’d make decisions for someone else?” she asked.
“Sure.” Quin answered. “I tried to start a small business around that very idea once. I had a mailing address, and if you mailed in five dollars, I would make your decision for you.”
“How did that turn out?”
“It didn’t. Or doesn’t, more rather. I’m still waiting for someone to mail in five dollars.”
DPG smiled sorrowfully.
“We have quite a problem before us here.” she said. “Should we save that dude’s life?”
Quin looked back out the window dispassionately.
“Why shouldn’t we?” he asked.
“There are several things to consider. First off, if we give him the money in the cash register, there’s no assurance that he will let the guy go. He’ll probably bargain for an getaway vehicle from the police while holding his gun to the dude’s throat.”
“Secondly, if we give the gunman the money, then I’m sure to lose my job here.”
“That’s also true.”
“Finally, I’m not sure that the guy’s life deserves saving.” DPG said.
Quin looked at her.
“You’re not exactly overrun with warm fuzzy feelings, are you?” he said.
“I am what I am.” she answered.
“On the other hand,” she continued, “if we let the guy get killed, everyone will know it was our fault, and people tend to look down on things like this.”
“They do at that.”
“It’s a hard choice.” the cashier said.
“It doesn’t have to be.” Quin said. “Not if you have five bucks.”
The girl laughed.
“Like it would be that easy.” she scoffed.
“You may be joking, but I’m serious.” Quin said. “Give me five dollars and I’ll show you how serious I am.”
“What are you even talking about.?”
“In exchange for five dollars, I will take responsibility for all further action. Anything that happens to the hostage, to the robber, or to the money and the gas station will be solely my responsibility and no one else’s. We can even sign a contract if you want to.”
The amused crinkle in the corner of DPG’s eye grew deeper and then faded. She felt in her shorts for a five spot and handed it to the strange young man.”
“First things first,” Quin said, after pocketing the bill, “what’s your actual name?”
“Amy.” Amy answered.
“I’m still going to call you Depressing Poetry Girl.”
Please come back for more on Saturday!