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Smash-n-Grab at Mini-Mart
An extra-short, hyphen-rich, fairly stupid story
Barnabus and Stealth cased the Mini-Mart. One accented clerk chattering, seven hotdogs grill-roiling, two teenage girls giggling. Half the florescent overheads burnt out, a big lottery advertisement balanced next to a display of no-contract phones near the register. The boys loitered outside until the girls fluttered out with neon energy drinks, their over-size shoulder bags flopping. Then they made their move.
“Gimme all the dogs!” yelled Barnabus as they barreled into the store, trying to look bigger by walking with their shoulders thrust forward and legs wide apart.
“In buns!” squeaked Stealth.
Barnabus pushed him towards the back of the store. “We don’t need buns. Nevermind the buns!”
“Can’t eat no dogs without buns,” Stealth argued. He pushed Barnabus.
“How many hot dogs you like?” asked the clerk, carefully enunciating each word and looking from one to the other of the wild-eyed boys. He poised the tongs above the grill and clasped a paper sack in his other hand. Behind his back, one of the giggling girls, bent double, snuck back into the store and up to the register.
“All! All!” yelled Barnabus.
“Buns!” yelled Stealth.
“Forget buns!” Barnabus pushed Stealth.
Stealth shoved Barnabus. They were at the back of the store now, next to the beer section. Barnabus shoved Stealth against the glass refrigerator door.
The clerk frowned. “No fighting, this store,” he said. He was calm; he had done this before. “You, out please.” He pointed with the tongs but kept his eyes on the boys.
Barnabus and Stealth yelped and shoved each other, knocking over a display of Zip lighters and a tall end shelf of Doritos. They snarled and ran at each other sideways as if they were each a door the other was trying to open by ramming. Dorito bags crushed under their hightops. The girl slunk out, her floppy bag full of phones.
“Damage!” the clerk finally raised his voice. “You pay damage!” And then, thinking better of it, he shouted again, “Out, out!”
The boys ran, still shoving each other. They crashed into the door frame on their way out.
“Stupid boys,” the clerk muttered, picking up the crushed but unopened Dorito bags and placing them back on the shelf.
“Stupid clerk,” said the girl to her friends, and sold them each a no-contract phone.
“Stupid girl,” said her step-father, when she did the shopping and brought him home a dozen eggs and a bag full of crushed Dorito crumbs.