General Fiction posted October 13, 2017


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Big Macs, fries, and Cokes...

Under the Golden Arches

by teols2016


"Mommy," the little boy whined, "I'm not done."

The little girl seemed on the verge of protesting as well.

"We have to go," the woman insisted, stuffing the food back in the happy meal bags. "We're ... late for an appointment."

The boy and his sister continued whining as she led them out of the restaurant. Bill watched the scene with some amusement, supposing he was lucky to be childless.

"Hey," Ted said behind him. "Food's ready."

Bill turned back to the counter as Ted was paying. They grabbed their trays and walked through the bustle to a table in the far corner. They slid into the seats and wasted no time unwrapping and eating.

The stop at McDonald's wasn't planned, but the men couldn't resist when they saw those Golden Arches. Bill was never a fast-food fan, but going two years without the option brought on the craving real quick. And after spending most recent mealtimes trying to identify what he was eating, the Big Mac, fries, and Coke were downright gourmet. Heck, they were better than that oatmeal the pair ate that morning. What was that stuff, anyway?

The good thing was the men were practically invisible in the busy restaurant. While Bill wouldn't attract attention in his sweatshirt and sweatpants, Ted might as the old man's clothes they'd grabbed didn't fit him well. Luckily, they'd found an overcoat Ted could wear to help hide the fact his attire wasn't his to be wearing. Even the pants' elastic waistband wasn't doing much to conceal this, and Ted only carried a few extra pounds.

When they'd polished off their meals in just a few minutes, Ted went to get more. After all, they had plenty of money. The old folks were relics from the Great Depression, having secret stashes all over their home. Bill's grandparents were the same way and he knew all the hiding spots. They could get far on this haul, so splurging at McDonald's wasn't a bad idea.

The men took more time on their second helpings, reflecting on what this meal meant.

"We made it, man," Ted said, grinning and presenting the many bits of burger and fries on and between his yellowing teeth.

Bill nodded, averting his eyes. Ted had been inside five years longer than him. Did people really lose their common decency in that time?

Ted Thankfully resumed eating and those teeth were out of sight. Able to focus again, Bill studied his burger.

"What's next?"

"Guy I know," Ted said, swallowing, "Happy Jack. We'll head to his place."

Bill nodded, remembering the pimp's name.

"How much is that going to cost?"

"Five hundred an hour," Ted said. "I mean, he runs a classy joint. Most of those ladies still test clean. But he owes me big, so I figure he'll get us a good discount ... three hundred ...maybe three fifty."

Bill smiled as well. He hoped there would be a nice young redhead. He knew he'd never see Emily again, but he could find someone similar. But at this point, he'd take anyone without balls. He ate more of his burger, occasionally popping a fry into his mouth as well.

"After that," Ted continued between bites, "we'll head north. Guy I know ... Big Dennis. He'll hook us up with good fake IDs. I figure we'll get jobs fishing in New England or something like that ... something where they don't look at us too closely."

He finished his second burger and dug into the new pack of fries.

"Sounds good," Bill agreed and took a long sip of Coke. He'd never been the type to do manual labor. He was short, thin, and didn't have anything to call physical strength. Inside, the others gave him the nickname "Stiff", thinking he wouldn't make it through the first night.

"He'll be stiff like a corpse in the morning," one cracked.

Despite Bill proving them wrong on that point, the nickname stuck. He soon learned he was best off not trying to change people's minds about it and him. He was on the bottom rung of the metaphorical ladder and not many people wanted to associate with him.

But Ted became decent to him and they wound up becoming friends. Eventually, they trusted each other enough to hatch their plan. While Bill was smarter, having once been a teacher, Ted better understood the chances they had to take and the consequences they'd face.

"They'll throw everything at us. We gotta be willing to do whatever it takes to make it."

Despite their having no shared history on the outside, Bill intended to stick with Ted, even if it meant manual labor. After all, everyone from his old life turned on him after they found out about Emily. There was no point in going back there. Heck, Ted was probably a better friend than anyone Bill ever knew.

"Come on," Ted said, devouring a final fry and draining his remaining Coke. "Let's get out of here. Time to see Happy Jack."

He was half a foot taller than Bill and sported more weight in both muscle and fat. He was also tanner, having a lot of outdoor jobs which kept him in direct sunlight. The only feature the two shared were their regulation-adhering haircuts, which were not far away from plain baldness. While Ted was fine with it, Bill looked forward to growing his hair out again.

Ted's size also meant he could finish his second helping ... or maybe his stomach was better used to a Big Mac and fries. Though He didn't want to, Bill had to concede defeat, disposing of half of his second burger. He did take his Coke while Ted snagged his remaining fries.

"How far away is Happy Jack?" Bill asked.

"About twenty minutes," Ted replied, clapping his friend on the shoulder. "Not far."

Bill smiled. He really wanted a woman.

As they headed for the doors, Bill reflected on the people they'd killed. The CO had to go. Ted was lucky to take him down before he could alert anyone. As for the relics, they'd left them alive. It was other people's fault that they were left alone for so long. Bill and Ted heard about their deaths on the radio a few hours after they'd fled the home. Bill now put them and the CO out of his mind. He remembered Ted's words.

"Do Whatever it takes."

The men stepped outside and stopped to admire the McDonald's sign, complete with the Golden Arches.

"Not many of those left," Ted remarked, pointing. "I read lots of places don't have them up anymore."

Before Bill could respond, they heard sirens. Then, a dozen police cars came barreling into the parking lot. Officers were out in seconds, guns out and pointing at the pair. A helicopter circling overhead completed the scene.

"Hands up!" someone shouted. "Hands up now!"

Bill and Ted glanced at one another. They had no weapons and no choice. So much for "whatever it takes."

* * *

Standing by his police cruiser, Detective Tanner watched with satisfaction as Theodore Banks and William Walters were frisked and cuffed. He wished they'd found the pair nine hours sooner. Heck, he wished the pair never made it out of the prison.

But they had escaped, killing a corrections officer in the process. They went on to rob and tie up an elderly couple who lived near the facility, having breakfast in the home before stealing money, some clothes, and the couple's car. The man and woman, both in their late nineties, died before their granddaughter arrived to check on them.

The victims' granddaughter was back at the station, waiting for news. Her parents were on their way. All were grief-stricken by what happened but relieved about the police already having identified suspects. The killers left their fingerprints all over the kitchen when they made and ate breakfast. the subsequent check in the national database took just minutes before detectives had a match for both men. The massive search for the fugitives intensified with the revelation.

Detective Tanner was consoling the granddaughter, Sherry, when he'd rushed out of the station fifteen minutes ago. a woman called and reported seeing the pair at a McDonald's while having lunch with her children. She'd seen them on the news that morning and rushed out with the kids, dialing 9-1-1 from her car.

"Detective," an officer said, coming over and getting his attention. "We found the car. Both their prison clothes were in the trunk."

Detective Tanner almost laughed. The fugitives were smart enough not to leave behind their prison attire at the place where they acquired regular clothes but they didn't think to wipe down anything they touched in the house? This was a mystery all on its own.

"Log it all as evidence," the detective instructed, considering it was too bad they couldn't have the men just change back into their old garments. It'd save the taxpayers a few bucks.

"Yes, Sir," the officer said and hurried away again.

Detective Tanner turned back to study the men, now cuffed and shackled, as they were escorted to separate cruisers. Theodore Banks was serving fifteen years for two armed robberies and the eight-ball of cocaine found in his pocket when he was caught. William Walters was serving twelve for statutory rape, having had sex with a fourteen-year-old student named Emily Simon. Now, they faced three murder charges and many more felonies. Glancing up at the Golden Arches, Detective Tanner hoped they'd enjoyed their last trip to McDonald's.


Dining Out contest entry

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Inspired by another story in which it was said cons really missed McDonald's while locked up.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by CammyCards at FanArtReview.com

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