A Shanking

SEAN
And then he stabbed him.

SAM
What? Wait. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Back the fuck up. Who stabbed who?

SEAN
John stabbed Walter.

SAM
What? Wait. You gotta start over.

SEAN
Why?

SAM
Why? Because I wasn’t really paying attention until you said: ‘And then he stabbed him.’

SEAN
What do you mean?

SAM
Well. I thought it was going to be another one or your boring stories. I didn’t know someone was getting stabbed. With you, that should really be something you lead with. Say: ‘Oh shit, I just saw Walter stab John.’

SEAN
John stabbed Walter. And what boring stories have I told?

SAM
That one yesterday.

SEAN
About Billy?

SAM
Yeah. Big fucking deal, I can ride a bike. You don’t see me bragging.

SEAN
Billy’s four.

SAM
Whatever. Just start your story again.

SEAN
You know, you can be a real prick.

SAM
I know, I know. I’m sorry, just start over. I want to hear the story. Please.

SEAN
Asshole.

SAM
I know.

SEAN
So, I go into Starbuck’s.

SAM
Which one?

SEAN
Does it matter?

SAM
I need a visual. The one on sixteenth is different from the one on main. So, I don’t want to have a mental image of sixteenth when it was main.

SEAN
It was the one on eighty third, okay. Can I continue?

SAM
Yeah.

SEAN
John and Walter are in line talking, and I walk up behind. They turn, smile and say: ‘Hey, Sean.’ I return the greeting and my phone rings. ‘Excuse me,’ I say.

SAM
You’re so polite.

SEAN
Fuck you. So, I take the call and turn away.

SAM
Who was on the phone?

SEAN
Does it matter?

SAM
Come on.

SEAN
It was Martha. Billy was–you know what, it was Martha, okay.

SAM
Okay. All right.

SEAN
So, anyway. I’m talking to Martha, and I’m looking around. John and Walter are talking, everything’s fine. I see Toni in front of them in line.

SAM
Wait. Who’s Toni?

SEAN
Toni’s Walter’s wife.

SAM
Ohhh. Toni. You know I always thought her name was Joni. Is she the blonde with the–

SEAN
Yes, the one with the fake tits. You’re such a child. Are you going to let me finish?

SAM
Go on. Sorry. Won’t happen again.

SEAN
So Toni turns around and–

SAM
Wait. Does this have to do with Toni? It just seems too obvious.

SEAN
Of course it does, and of course it’s obvious. Do you think that I’m writing a mystery novel here? I’m not Arthur Conan Fucking Doyle. Even in Starbuck’s geeks get possessive of their women.

SAM
But Toni is Walter’s wife, why does John stab Walter?

SEAN
If you would shut up, I could tell the story and at the end I’ll open it up for questions.

SAM
Sorry. Sorry. Please continue.

SEAN
Where was I? So, Toni turns and she has two drinks in her hands.

SAM
What kinds?

SEAN
I have no clue. But she hands them to John and Walter. They take the drinks and in the process, Toni drops a spoon on the floor. No one notices until Toni bends over to get it.

SAM
Oh shit.

SEAN
Exactly. So, Toni of course bends over, and you can see practically to her belly button. I’m looking. John’s looking. Walter’s looking. Everyone behind me’s looking, but Walter only sees John looking. Now I know this can’t be the first time he’s seen someone checking out his wife, but perhaps it was the smile on John’s face. So Walter, throws his coffee right in John’s face.

SAM
Was it hot, or–

SEAN
Yeah it was hot. And John starts flailing around screaming and waving his hands.

SAM
Was he screaming like: ‘Ahhhh.’ Or like scream talking.

SEAN
What?

SAM
You know. Was he screaming like just screaming or was he like: ‘My face, my face’?

SEAN
He was screaming screaming.

SAM
So when does he stab him?

SEAN
Are you serious?

SAM
Sorry. So, when does he stab him?

SEAN
You know Sam, you really need to be patient.

SAM
Whatever just finish the story.

SEAN
So, John is flailing around. Everyone’s watching. Martha’s on the phone asking me, ‘Who’s screaming?’ John grabs a knife from the little counter there for–

SAM
Wait. Wait. Wait. Back the fuck up. You mean one of those plastic fucking knives for spreading shit on a bagel?

SEAN
Yeah.

SAM
A plastic knife? You’re telling a story about John stabbing Walter with a plastic knife? You know what, this is worse than Billy and the fucking bike.

SEAN
Are you gonna shut up and let me finish?

SAM
No, because I don’t care anymore. A plastic knife?

SEAN
Fine. I was surprised when it broke the skin, but if you don’t want to hear it. I’m outta here. I’ve got work to do anyway.

SAM
What? It broke the skin? Wait.

SEAN
No. I don’t want to bore you. Forget it. I’m going back to my desk.

SAM
All right. All right. Sorry I made fun of your stories. Now finish. I promise I won’t say anything else.

SEAN
What about Billy?

SAM
Billy? The kid’s a fucking genius. Riding without training wheels at four you say? Amazing. Now finish.

SEAN
You’re damn right a genius, asshole. So, John grabs the knife and flips around with a shank in one hand and still holding his face with the other.

SAM
I’m sorry. Did you just refer to a plastic knife as a shank?

SEAN
Anyway. Plastic knife in one hand, he swings his arm–

SAM
Left or right?

SEAN
Right. He’s aiming low, and then he stabs him.

SAM
Where?

SEAN
In the ribs.

SAM
The ribs?

SEAN
The ribs. He must of just found that soft spot between his ribs. It goes right in, and John opens his eyes for the first time. They’re bloodshot from the coffee and he just turns and runs right out the door. Toni’s screaming. Martha’s screaming, and Walter starts to cry.

SAM
Cry?

SEAN
Yeah. Cry. And he just keeps mumbling: ‘He stabbed me. He stabbed me.’

SAM
Then what happened?

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