“Look man, I’m a disabled Iraq War veteran with nothing but the clothes on his back, a credit card with a maxed-out nine hundred-dollar limit, and half-fake legs. You might have better luck robbing somebody else,” I explained.
“Ditch the sob story prick. I don’t give a fuck.”
The guy pointed the gun right between my eyes.
“You said fake legs. Titanium?”
I let out a defeated exhale.
The guy squatted down and examined my artificial calves like a doctor who knew for a fact were titanium. He prodded them with the muzzle of his gun.
“They look removable.”
The butt of the gun hit me hard across the nose.
“Lay down. I’ve done this before,” the guy instructed.
I laid down. Blood gushed from my nose and down the back of my throat. I struggled to breath.
The pain from my nose blocked out the shooting pain from my legs. The guy wrenched on my false appendages until I felt them slide off of me.
“Nothing personal man. I’d rob my own mother…again,” the guy said.
I opened my eyes again to get a look at the guy. I only got a split second of vision. What I saw was the end of my own titanium foot coming hard at my face.
I came to in a darkened corner booth at the steakhouse in one of the casinos in Reno. The smell of one of the five or so restaurant-cooked steaks I have ever had in my life made my mouth instantly start to water. My hunger and its savor made me almost forget where I was.