“Hello Sir,” Felix said, feeling rested but hungry as he looked down the barrel of the thin man’s gun. He resisted the urge to tell the bank robber how dirty the barrel of his gun looked from this angle.
“Don’t sir me, you ugly mook. Just give me all your money,” The man looked like a good wind would blow him over, but he had what Felix thought was a “Tommy Gun” pointed at a room full of bank clientele.
“I’m sorry I really have nothing of value on me,” Felix ignored the rude comments and repeated what he’d told the man and his wife.
“Search him, Claire,” said the man.
“He’s clean, got nothing on him, Donnie,” said the short dumpy woman.
“Donnie and Claire?” mumbled Felix. Why couldn’t he get name brand villains instead of cheap knockoffs?
Just as Donnie turned to point his rather large gun at another client, the little bell on top of the entrance rang and a large man forced his way through the doorway, similar to the way canned cranberries slump out of their can.
As the man entered, Donnie turned his ridiculously large gun towards the man. Felix then did something that he never thought he’d do. He punched Donnie as hard as he could in the face. The gun went off releasing a spray of bullets that shot a few windows, as it and Donnie fell to the floor.
When he looked back, Miss Eris had subdued Claire and taken away her firearm.
The large man, who wore a pinstriped suit, stopped in shock at the scene in front of him. When he recovered, he ran to Felix and shook his hand, “You have saved my life sir. How can I ever repay you? You shall come to dinner at my home tonight.”
It was at this point that Felix started to wonder if something like fate, destiny, or dumb luck was guiding their trip. Appearing in the middle of a bank heist seemed the least likely way to get invited to dinner at a gangster’s home, but as it turned out he was once again wrong. It wasn’t anything like fate. He decided that the universe had a perverse sense of humour and was enjoying toying with him.
* * *
The problem with a formal dinner was that Felix hadn’t eaten anything in … He wasn’t sure but it felt like days. He just wanted to attack the food and not worry about what people thought. It was a rare emotion for him. He always tried to be tidy and clean, but hunger made him sloppy and grumpy.
All thoughts left his head when he smelled the food. It tasted heavenly and he had the hardest time paying attention to any conversation.
When dessert was finally served after several courses of heavenly food, Amanda leaned over to him and said, “How do you suppose we get the diamond?”
As an answer, he shrugged, “We’ve done it before, so we’ll do it again.”
“The depression has taken its toll on all of us, hasn’t it, Mister Felicis?” The large gangster asked.
“Yes, I supposed it has. I must say I haven’t eaten this well in years,” Felix winked at Amanda. Small talk about politics and the evils of prohibition dominated the after-dinner conversation. When he felt it was appropriate, Felix suggested, “Could we have a tour of your lovely home?”
It was a beautiful house, just outside the city, built in the grand Federal style with hints of Greek-Revival, reminiscent of the White House and the Tara plantation in Gone with the Wind, one of Felix’s favourite movies.
As they walked, Felix offered Amanda his arm. It served two purposes letting them whisper to each other and having her close. The latter being something Felix desperately wanted. She infuriated him with her illogical views of the universe, and that she was always right, but she was kind and friendly and seemed to generally care for him.
As she held his arm her hands were warm, everything was warm in what must have been summer heat, and he didn’t envy the armed men who continued to wear their pinstriped suits despite the weather. Felix had taken off his jacket, but not his coat and rolled up his dress shirt’s sleeves. “Clever idea getting a tour, this way we can find out where the diamond is being held.” Amanda whispered in his ear.
Trying not to sound flustered he replied, “I hadn’t thought of it. I just really like the house.” He looked at her expecting disappointment or contempt, instead he saw a glint of laughter in her eyes and wide smile.
“You two make a wonderful couple,” said the large gangster.
“Oh, we’re not a couple,” Felix said looking at Amanda for some sort of contradiction.
“We’ve only known each other for a few days, but I have greatly enjoyed his company. Unfortunately we’re from different worlds.” With those worlds Amanda shattered Felix’s fragile male ego and his hopes.
“It’s not where we start that matters, my friends, but where you end up and who you journey with. Ah, to be young like you.” The gangster paused as if lost in reflection. He looked older than Felix had first thought. He then led them into a large room, “Since my wife passed away, bless her, I have collected beauty in every form.” He opened a set of double doors and Felix was worried about what the man considered beauty.
The room was filed with pieces of art. A Van Gogh, several Monets, and lots of ancient vases. All in a large aisle to a dais with a large diamond on it.
When they were in front of the diamond, Felix looked at their host and said, “Thank you for your hospitality.” With that, he took the diamond with one hand and Miss Eris’s hand with the other.
With his hopes of romance squashed, he had a renewed fervor to return to his old life. As the world twisted and melted away he yearned for his couch and a good book.