Lit.Org - a community for readers and writers Advanced Search

Average Rating

(0 votes)

You must login to vote

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Here's a repeat of Dave's introduction, followed by my solution to the Can You? Challenge. I hope you enjoy it.

The girl behind the counter was giving me what I assumed to be her professional smile; bright as a light bulb and just as empty. I ordered my usual café mocha with a shot of white chocolate and searched for a table in the crowded coffee shop. I sat at one next to the big bay windows so that the sun coming through the glass could warm my chilled bones. I’ve turned into a people watcher in my old age and I’ve found that a window seat gives you the chance to watch those without as well as within and that appeals to the writer in me. I had just settled in when my coffee arrived. I pulled out my notebook, took a sip, and began my observation. My jotted notes, some real and some made up, were an attempt to come up with a character for my next short story.

As I watched the people passing through for their morning cups of joe; one man caught my attention and all thoughts of writing flew out of my head. Years of anti-terrorism training from my time in the military kicked in and a feeling of wrongness was coming off this cat in waves. It was a combination of seemingly unimportant details that put it all together for me. It was cold outside, and this man was wearing what looked like a military issue rain coat to go with the dress uniform. No military member would wear it unbuttoned like that, old habits die hard. It hung loose and the belt was askew. He paced nervously in line, as though inpatient to get his coffee and go. His hand kept straying to the inside of his coat as if to check that something was secure in there. His eyes darted back and forth taking a mental count of how many people were present and he took special note of me, identifying me as a potential threat…military training for sure.

“Sir? Can I help you sir?” the girl behind the counter said.

“Yeah, you can shut the fuck up and empty the register!” the man screamed as he pulled a sawed off, pump action, .12 gauge shotgun from under his trench coat. He fired a single shot into the air. Plaster from the ceiling tiles rained down around him. He’s certainly not the brightest crayon in the box is he. He leveled the gun at me.

“One wrong move mister and you’ll be sipping coffee in hell,” he said.

Just my luck...

The other customers froze in fear. The man pointed the gun in my direction but turned his head to the girl behind the counter.

"I don't have all fucking day!" he yelled.

Scared, she quickly started to empty the money in the cash register into a brown paper bag.

I took the opportunity to rise from my chair and point my pen in his direction. Pressing on the clip, I fired a dart from the pen into the side of his neck.

Instantly, he reeled as the poison took effect. He grimaced, gripping his neck and fell against an elderly woman behind him. She screamed under his weight.

A man in a suit and tie called the police with his iPhone. "Attempted robbery. The thief may be dead."

The customers crowded around the still body.

"I'm a nurse," said a woman in a navy coat. She checked for a pulse. The nurse shook her head.

A boy said, "You killed him mister."

"You saved us! You're a hero. What's your name?" asked the manager.

"Bond. James Bond." I put the pen back in my chest pocket. I'd always been a closet writer, writing under a pseudonym. Maybe someday I'd write about this event as many other escapades in my career.

I left the coffee shop in search of a dry martini.

Related Items


The following comments are for "Can You? Challenge"
by sandra

Well folks, our first entry for September is here. The 64,000,000 questions is; did she? (If you don't know why I'm asking this, see Can You? Flash Fiction Challenge in the Features column on the home page.)

Sandra has a way of taking my scenes so far away from where I imagine they will go that it blows my mind...and I totally dig that. This inspired all kinds of groovy ideas in my head. What if the guy who wrote the orginal James Bond stories really was a MI-6 agent. Maybe he wanted to tell someone about all of his adventures but couldn't give away classified info so he wrote his real life experiences in the guise of fiction...could be cool, right?

Did she? Yes, she most certinaly did.

Can You?


( Posted by: HeRoCoMpLeX [Member] On: September 20, 2011 )

Thanks Dave!
I wrote this solution pretty quickly. But as you say, there are some interesting ideas that stem from the plot.


( Posted by: sandra [Member] On: September 20, 2011 )

Played the "Bond Card"
This was a good entry. I didn't see the "Bond" connection coming and then when it hit, I grinned a mile wide. I just read the ending again and couldn't help bu laugh.

Nice story and a really interesting ending. Cheers.

( Posted by: Jeff [Member] On: September 23, 2011 )

thanks Jeff!
Glad you liked it! I was tempted to add 'shaken not stirred.'

best to you,

( Posted by: sandra [Member] On: September 23, 2011 )

flash condensed!
Your transition from the lead in into the solution was seamless. I'm totally impressed at how you got the hero out of the perilous situation with aplomb and pizzazz. kudos

( Posted by: Pen [Member] On: September 25, 2011 )

Hi, Thanks for your positive comments! I try. :)

( Posted by: sandra [Member] On: September 25, 2011 )

"Shaken, not stirred"
You faked me out, Sandra! Very well done!

Sorry I've been away so long from the site, but great to see Dave is back "flashing" again, along with entries by newer writers, clicking away on their PCs right alongside pros like you. - Jim

( Posted by: JamesYoung [Member] On: September 29, 2011 )

Clever. Now I'm wondering which Bond you write of. I prefer to think of Daniel Craig cos he put to shame all the previous cartoonish Bonds.

Never really participate in this stuff but I posted one earlier today. Hopefully it shows up tomorrow. Mine's a bit more lowbrow.

( Posted by: toscano [Member] On: September 29, 2011 )

@Jim, Toscano
Thanks Jim for calling me a pro but hats off to the other writers too!

Toscano, I agree Bond has evolved over time but parts of his character remain intact. I'll look for your answer to the Can You? Challenge. Thanks for writing!


( Posted by: sandra [Member] On: September 30, 2011 )

Add Your Comment

You Must be a member to post comments and ratings. If you are NOT already a member, signup now it only takes a few seconds!

All Fields are required

Commenting Guidelines:
  • All comments must be about the writing. Non-related comments will be deleted.
  • Flaming, derogatory or messages attacking other members well be deleted.
  • Adult/Sexual comments or messages will be deleted.
  • All subjects MUST be PG. No cursing in subjects.
  • All comments must follow the sites posting guidelines.
The purpose of commenting on Lit.Org is to help writers improve their writing. Please post constructive feedback to help the author improve their work.