Fiction: Irving Thanglemeir

February 8, 2018 Fiction , Literature , POETRY / FICTION

Nathan Rupert photo

 

By

David Smith

 

 

Irving Thanglemeir had to do something. Four men had come into the restaurant, shouting at everyone not to move; it was a robbery. Two of the men came in the front door, and two had come in the back. They came in so quickly, it seemed like all four were there at the same time. Three of them were waving and pointing their guns, continuing to shout at everyone to get their money and valuables ready. They all wore masks, covering their faces, blue plastic gloves covered their hands.

 

Tonight was Saturday night and very busy. Lulu’s wasn’t a large place, but it was nearly full. There were 20 tables and a dozen booths, probably just under 100 people. The windows were partially covered by a bordering of wooden planters, full of artificial plants, which made the tables at the windows more secluded. It was also hard to see in or out.

 

The masks the men were wearing made Irving think of Halloween. One wore the Wolf man, the others were Frankenstein, W.C Fields and President Nixon. W.C Fields stayed near the front entrance, and cleaned out the cash register. President Nixon stayed at the rear exit. The Wolf man and Frankenstein went quickly from table to table stealing the men’s wallets, women’s purses and everyone’s jewelry. They were putting everything into duffel bags.

 

The robbery was all finished in less than 20 minutes. A few women had screamed and were told to shut up or be shot, a few of them had their faces slapped, everyone else had complied quickly. The crooks were ready to leave; they began moving towards the back door. Shelly was standing at Irving’s table. As the Wolf man walked past them, he grabbed Shelly. He wrapped his left arm around her neck, and held a gun to her head with his right hand.

 

“You’ll make a nice hostage,” he told her.

 

Irving’s problem was, he was only five feet, five inches tall and weighed about 130 pounds. The Wolf man was over six feet and probably weighed over 200 pounds. He looked like a giant to Irving, but Shelly was his friend.

 

He’d met her three years before, when his mother had first taken ill. Irving’s mother had never told him about the pain, she also hadn’t been to a doctor in many years. One day Irving had been talking to her, when she’d doubled over in pain. Irving called an ambulance. At the hospital they did tests and told Irving she had cancer and it was too late, it had spread too far.

 

The first time Irving had gone to Lulu’s, he’d went because he didn’t want to go home and have dinner alone. He didn’t really have an appetite, but hadn’t eaten all day. Lulu’s was close to his apartment.

 

No one had ever been too friendly with Irving, Shelly had noticed he was depressed and she had told him so. Throughout the course of his dinner, he’d answered her many questions, and she’d answered his about her family. Irving noticed she was wearing a ring, but she still cheered him up. He’d stayed late drinking coffee and eating an extra piece of pie, just to talk to her. Even though she was happily married, with three children, they had still become friends. This had been a slow night for her, and she had time to talk. He suspected she might just feel sorry for him, but he enjoyed her company.

 

It had been almost two years since that night, and their friendship had grown. Irving knew they were friends and nothing more, but he looked forward to seeing her when he went into the restaurant for some of his meals. Irving had always been a loner. Throughout school he’d always been picked on and bullied, being a book worm and a nerd. He fit the description of a nerd even more, with his extrathick glasses and scrawny physique.

 

Irving’s father had left shortly after Irving had started Jr. High School; he’d gone to work one day and never returned home. Years later, his mother had told him his father had met a younger woman and had gone away with her. His father had sent them money every month, but he’d never attempted to contact them. When Irving turned 18, the money stopped coming. His mother had been completely heartbroken when her husband had left and became a recluse. She withdrew from the few friends she had, she knew they gossiped about her. She had a sister, in another state, but they only kept in touch with letters. His father had two brothers, but they were never very close.  All of Irving’s grandparents had died when he was very young.

 

Irving worked as an accountant. Just before he’d graduated from high school, Irving looked in the newspaper under “Help Wanted”. He didn’t have any idea what he wanted to do for a living, but he saw plenty of adds for accountants. He found out they made a decent income, and decided to attend a trade school. Shortly after he’d received his Certificate of Completion; he’d gotten his job at a wholesale shoe store. Irving had stayed with the same job and worked his steady 40 hour week. He’d remained a loner, never making friends with any of the people he worked with and no one was real friendly with him.

 

Irving kept himself busy with his hobbies and caring for his mother until her death. He’d enjoyed reading about King Arthur, Robin Hood, the Three Musketeer’s, and the Holy Grail. He also loved watching old black and white movies of the 1940’s and 50’s.

 

He loved heroism and fantasized about being a hero of some sort. Irving’s favorite actress was Hedy Lamaar. Shelly was a pretty brunette and she reminded him enough of Miss Lamaar that he treasured their friendship that much more. He was also computer literate, he spent many hours perusing the internet and keeping files of his interests. The internet was where he had some friends who shared similar interests.

 

Irving had lived with his mother, until her death at 63, he was now 39. After she died, he stayed in the same apartment, slowly expanding his books, cd’s and dvd’s into his mother’s room. His friendship with Shelly was his only social life.

 

Irving looked down at his table, the only weapon he had was a steak knife. It would have to be his sword. The man was backing away from him, focusing his attention on the people in front of him. He’d glanced at Irving, but just looked away, dismissing him as no threat.

 

The tables were empty behind Irving. Frankenstein and WC Fields had already exited out the back door, President Nixon was waiting at the door. The Wolf man’s mask was very intimidating, but he was going to help Shelly.

 

As the Wolf man glanced behind him and looked at President Nixon, Irving made his move. He grabbed the steak knife and lunged at the thief. With his right hand, Irving stabbed the knife into the man’s neck as hard as he could. At the same time, using his left hand, he grabbed the gun and pulled it away from Shelly’s head. His timing was perfect, but the man was still able to pull the trigger. The bullet entered Irving’s neck in the exact same spot, where the steak knife had entered the man’s neck. The Wolf man stood still for a few seconds, looking at Irving in disbelief. Then with a gurgling sound, he dropped to the floor – dead.

 

It happened so fast, Shelly didn’t realize she wasn’t the one shot. She saw Irving falling and reached out for him, but fell to the floor with him. She put her hand over the wound in his neck, trying to stop the blood. She knew he was dying, “Thank-You Irving”. Shelly was crying. “I’ll never forget you,” she assured him. Irving managed a little smile and was gone.

 

President Nixon, saw what had happened and walked out, now they were all gone too.

 

 

 

 

 

David Smith

Writes poems, lyrics, short stories, songs; 29 videos on You Tube – Search: Dave49erman; plays guitar and has 2 songs in a music publishing company; attended some college courses (Music, various writing, CA History).

Published: 1991 – 2 poems – Expensive Tastes, In This World; 2014 – story – El Pencilero; 2014 – 2 poems – The Ol’ Cowboy, In This World; 2015 – poem – Sacrifice.

Editor review

2 Comments

  1. Betty February 10, at 16:27

    Great short story, David! You have created a fantastic story with the timeless theme of "expecting the unexpected" courage of a humble fictional character who finds himself in the midst of a life and death situation. I enjoyed reading the phases of the mental journey experienced by the main character, Irving,

    Reply
  2. George February 08, at 22:21

    Enjoy reading your works David. Keep them coming

    Reply

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