Hey gang — my apologies for the long site outage last week. I really appreciate your patience.
Snake bursts through a heavy metal door onto the roof of Barnes and Noble. The night air is cool, but not as cool as Snake’s black leather wife beater which dully reflects the moonlight. It’s hip, yet breezy. It’s a look that says “I’ll beat your ass and look great doing it, too.”
The former Duke of Starbucks is right behind Snake. He dashes to the corner of the roof where a lone black hang glider is chained to a bike rack. A dog tag hangs from the handlebar. It reads “A-Number One”.
Snake’s eye narrows. “Who the hell is going to steal a hang glider?”
“One never knows,” the former Duke says and removes the chain.
Together, they hoist the glider up. Snake positions himself a few feet from the edge of the roof. The city lights spread out before him; the cacophony of the traffic below shatters the serenity.
The former Duke points straight ahead, in the direction Snake had come. “That way,” he says, then pauses. He turns to Snake with a look of worry. “You know, you don’t have to go back. I make a mean soy latte, and if your stomach is upset, well, our bathrooms are clean.”
Snake stares straight ahead into the darkness. “No way,” he hisses. “Everyone knows I finish with an epic fight before disappearing into the night.”
The former Duke nods and steps back. “Good luck, Snake. Not that you need it.”
Snake lopes toward the edge of the roof, each step taking him closer to the fifty-foot drop. At the last possible second, he pushes off with one foot. The black sail catches the wind and billows, pulling Snake upward and away from the building. As he sails away, he hears the former Duke shout, “Farewell, Snake, Duke of Starbucks!”
Snake soars over the busy streets and brightly lit buildings, and back down the dark, empty street from whence he came. After just a moment he sees Hauk’s Starbucks and descends. The parking lot is now half-empty, giving him plenty of space to land. As he comes down, he aims for the hipsters, kicking the boyfriend’s face as he sails overhead.
A familiar, high-pitched scream fills the air. “You broke my nose, man! And you messed up my hair!”
Snake hits the ground running and, once he’s regained his balance, he releases the hang glider. Snake slows to a stop. The glider continues on and slams headfirst into the hipster boyfriend’s Prius. The piercing cry of the car’s sissy alarm fills the air. Snake stands back to admire his handiwork, then stalks into the store.
The store has been straightened up since he left, and his sudden reappearance causes employees and customers alike to stop what they’re doing and snap to attention. Snake approaches the counter and gazes at the barista girl uneasily with his one eyeball.
“Where’s the other guy?” Snake growls. “Who are you?”
The barista girl’s eyes widen. “I’m Beth. Charlie had to go home and change his pants.”
“Oh, right.” Snake’s eye darts around the room, then back to Beth. “Where’s Hauk?”
“He hasn’t come back yet.”
A low growl emits from Snake’s throat. His upper lip twitches.
Beth takes a startled step back. “I’m sorry!”
Snake stops and glares back. “What? No — that’s how I laugh.” He produces the bottle of sugar-free vanilla syrup and sets it on the counter. “Now make me a venti soy latte with some of this syrup.”
“Absolutely, Sir. Anything else?”
“Yeah. Give me the keys to your bathroom.”
He heads for the bathroom. As Snake reaches for the door handle, he hears a familiar voice.
Snake turns to see Hauk standing at the front door. It’s clear from Hauk’s expression that he’s unhappy to see that Snake has returned.
Snake glowers back and holds up his wrist, showing that he still has 27 seconds left. “The syrup is with the baristas. You lose, Hauk.”
“Not so fast, Snake. I hear you’ve become the Duke of Starbucks.”
“That’s right. I’m A-Number One.”
“We have a problem then.” Hauk steps away from the door and walks to a display table. A long wooden pole is set in the middle of the table, bearing a poster that reads “Coffee of the Month!” Bags of whole and ground beans, available in regular and decaf, are stacked on the table around the pole. Hauk snatches the wooden pole from the table, knocking coffee bags to the floor. “Because I was set to become the next Duke!”
The customers and employees let out a startled gasp. Their eyes all turn to Snake.
Snake sneers in amusement. “I’m not gonna fight you, Hauk. And do you want to know why?” He throws up his hands. “Because it’s stupid.”
Hauk’s eyes widen. His bald pate flushes red. “You’re going to fight me — and lose! En garde!” He raises his stick like a sword. Screaming maniacally, he charges forward.
Snake dives to the left, crashing into a small wooden table and a set of chairs. Hauk runs straight into the bathroom door where Snake had just stood, inadvertently jamming the pole into his gut. Hauk grunts and bounces backward, then doubles over.
Snake scrambles to his feet and runs to Hauk. He grabs the stick away and runs to the ruined coffee display, but not before smacking Hauk hard on the rump.
“Ow!” Hauk snaps upright, grabbing his sore backside. “You jerk!” He quickly looks around and sees the keys hanging from the bathroom doorknob. He opens the door and rushes in, looking around wildly. A mop and bucket are sitting in the corner. Hauk grabs the mop and returns to the store, holding it aloft.
Snake shrugs. “Let me guess. En garde again?”
Hauk doesn’t answer. He simply charges.
This time, Snake meets the stick-sword challenger head on. He steps to the side and swings. As the sticks collide, a loud smacking echoes. Customers shriek. Hauk swings again in a powerful arc. Snake blocks, grabbing his stick from both ends and shoving it into the path of the mop. He pushes Hauk’s weapon away, causing Hauk to stumble backward.
“Um, Mr. Snake, Sir?” Beth waves at him from behind the counter. “Your latte’s up.”
Snake glares. He wants to drink his coffee right away because he only likes it piping hot. Lukewarm coffee sucks.
Snake steps toward the coffee bar and reaches for his latte. Just before he can grasp the cup, Hauk rights himself and swings out, reaching for Snake’s wrist. The contact makes a painful slapping sound and Snake yelps — but in a manly way.
Hauk grins and raises his mop like a sword, ready to swing. Snake drops his stick. He reaches over the barista counter and grabs a large white canister.
Hauk swings. This time, Snake is ready. He grabs the mop with his free hand and jerks hard, pulling Hauk forward. As the bald face nears, Snake aims the canister and sprays.
Thick whipped cream coats Hauk’s eyes and nose, blinding and disorienting him. His mouth opens and closes like a guppy.
Snake yanks the mop, spinning Hauk around, and leads him back to the bathroom. He shoves Hauk inside and locks the door behind. He jams a wooden chair under the door handle. As Snake turns away, he hears Hauk’s angry, muffled screams from the bathroom.
“Snake! You can’t do this! I’ll become the next Duke of Starbucks! Watch your back!”
Snake ignores his cries. He passes by the barista counter, ignoring his latte, and heads for the door.
“Um, Mr. Snake?” Beth points at the cup on the end of the counter. “Aren’t you forgetting something?”
At the door, Snake pauses. He turns toward Beth and scowls.
“I’m switching to tea.”
With that, Snake turns and walks out the door, disappearing into the night.
Thanks for coming along and participating in the Snake Plissken, um, month and a half. Hope you enjoyed it! Who should I fanfic next? Any suggestions? Leave them in the comments below! I would love to hear who you guys think is fanfic worthy.
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