“Hey, you! Give me some money!” I said. If the young man I was accosting heard me, he hid it well as he continued staggering tipsily down the dimly lit alley. “Hey, you!” I repeated, entirely too loudly, “I said-” “Sorry, mate,” he said, in a thick British accent, “I don’t have any cash.” “What? No, I’m not begging,” I clarified, “I’m robbing you.” “Ah, sorry for the misunderstanding, bruv,” he said, “In that case… still ain’t got no money.” “Oh, fuck off,” I said, “That’s just what people say when someone asks them for money and they don’t want to give any.” “I mean, yeah, o’ course,” he said, “But this time I’m bein’ for real.” “Give me your wallet, then,” I said. “Now why would I go and do a thing like that?” he asked. “So you do have money it it!” I yelled. “I mean,” I began whispering, “So you do have money in it!” as if that would somehow retroactively make the first time I said it quieter. “Maybe I do, and maybe I don’t,” he said, “But if I did, it’d be my money, not yours. And it’d stay that way. Unless you think you could take it from me?” “I think I could,” I said, doing my best to sound eerily calm, “but I don’t want to hurt you, and I don’t think you want to be hurt. So, it’s best for both of us if you just hand over the wallet.” “Hah,” he laughed, “Hurt me? I’d like to see you tr-”
“Schwing!” He was cut off by the sound of my blade, The Katana of Beginnings and Ends, being unsheathed. I brandished it in a way that I hoped was menacing. “Like I said, I don’t want to hurt you. But my friend here,” I said, gesturing to my sword, “isn’t so picky.” “I… did you just call that there toy sword your friend?” He asked, incredulously. “It’s not a toy!” I said, “And yeah, I did, but, like-” “Are you mental or somethin’?” he asked, “Is there someone I should call?” “I don’t actually think the sword is my friend!” I said, “I was just… forget it. It doesn’t matter. Just hand over your wallet or I will cut you.” “Is… is this a bit? You gotta be taking the piss, yeah?” He asked, “Is this a viral marketing for some kinda underground Ren-Faire? ‘Cuz I gotta say, if it is, I’m rather intrigued.” I swung my blade so that it stopped just over his throat. “D-Do you understand now?” I asked. I hoped that he was too panicked to notice how much I was panicking. “If y-you don’t hand me your wallet right now, you will die.” “Woah, easy there,” he said, “I understand. I’ll hand you the wallet, just like you asked. I’m just reaching in my back pocket, so don’t do anything you’ll regret.” “Too late for that,” I thought to myself. As soon as he handed me the wallet, I lowered my blade.
“Hey, man, sorry I scared you like that,” I apologized, “For what it’s worth, I wasn’t actually going to kill you.” “Were you planning on injuring me?” he asked. “Honestly, I wasn’t even planning on threatening you,” I said, “You just kept being thick.” “Yeah, I guess I was, wasn’t I?” he said, “So then if I were to, hypothetically, tell the cops that some loony with a prop sword accosted me-” “It’s a real sword,” I snapped. “Oh, fuck off, mate,” he said, “You’d have better luck trying to convince me a tube of plastic is a real lightsaber. You ‘spect me to believe you got a real sword that just so happens to look exactly like a toy that any kid could buy?” Oh God. I’d forgotten about the merchandise. “Oh, it’s, uh,” I said, stalling to come up with an excuse, “I’m a huge fan, so I had a real sword forged to look like The Katana of Beginnings and Ends.” “That so?” He asked, “Well, I guess I believe ya. You seem crazy enough to do something like that. And now that I think about it, it seems a bit too well-made to be just a prop.” He suddenly laughed, startling me. “I just had the funniest thought,” he said, “I know it’s impossible for so many reasons, but can you imagine if that was the real Katana? It’d be the wildest fuckin’ thing. Cuz then you, some random bloke stalking dark alleys, would be…” He squinted at my face. I should have done something, anything, but I didn’t. He laughed again. “Sorry mate, I’m a bit tipsy, so I don’t think I’m seeing straight. Feel free to laugh at me for askin’ this, but… are you THE Fuckin’ Dash Rockwell?”