Mr. Soon finished making the ham and cheese sandwich, wrapped it up and handed it to his landlord. The arrogant man accepted it, smiling hugely, and made inappropriate jokes of a sexual nature. Mr. Soon nodded along, pretending to be amused or shocked as the man seemed to prefer.
“Babo neun yeojeonhi yeogiiss-eo?” his wife called from the back room of their convenience store.
“Is that Mrs. Soon?” asked the man in a three piece suit.
“Oh! Mr. Jack, why are you here?” his wife asked as she joined him at the register.
He chuckled before speaking, “I just had to get myself one of your husband’s sandwiches.” He hefted the item in question.
“We, we have your rent. Do you-”
“Mrs. Soon!” he interrupted, “I know you’ll pay on time. And don’t worry, even if you can’t I’ll be happy to make a trade with you.” He wiggled his eyebrows while leering.
Mr. Soon was almost certain that the fool was only making another crude attempt at humor. Even so, he found his hand drifting to the bat he kept beneath the counter.
“I’ve told you before, I love these things” the landlord said, raising his sandwich again. “If I can get enough of them, what do I need with money?” He laughed again.
Mr. Soon’s wife turned to him and asked, “Wae salam e waseo haeyahabnikka? Uliga meil-eul tonghae geuege don-eul jibul su issdamyeon deo joh-eul geos-ida.”
“Yes, that would be very pleasant.” he told his wife.
“Oh, my wife simply said that she would like it if you visited more often.” Mr. Soon lied.
“Well, I’m a busy man but I’ll be in town for the next month. I’ll probably be in a lot. I love these sandwiches.”
As he tried to make up a pleasant sounding response, Mr. Soon prayed that something, anything, would distract the tedious man. Over the next few years, he would regret that thought.
A motorcycle man walked in and stabbed his landlord. He fell to the ground without making a sound. The man in black picked up the sandwich that Mr. Soon had made and began unwrapping it.
His wife screamed. “Oh God! Jin- What did he-?” she stuttered in perfectly unaccented English.
“Don’t move!” he cried.
The man began taking off his helmet. Mr. Soon closed his eyes and turned away, trying to make it obvious that he hadn’t seen the man’s face.
“Don’t look! He- He won’t hurt you if you don’t look!”
Desperately, he hoped that she had understood, hoped that he was right.
Mr. Soon listened, trying to stay calm, restraining the urge to run or lash out with his bat, as Monster ate the sandwich. He heard the popping noise as a can, soda or beer, was opened and then hurriedly drunk. Over it all, he was aware of his wife’s frightened sobbing.
“The camera!” he spoke as the thought occurred to him. “It- it does not record! I promise sir, no one will know you were here!”
He heard a rustling from the counter, next to his register, followed by wood clattering on wood. He kept his eyes closed. A short time later, he heard crashing coming from the back room.
“What… what is he doing?” his wife whispered.
“I think he’s smashing the computer.” he answered.
“Should we run?”
He kept his eyes clenched shut and shook his head. “No! No, I think we’re safe as long as we don’t anger him.”
The crashing stopped and Mr. Soon heard his bat fall to the concrete floor.
He waited until the bell above the front door rang to open his eyes. The man was gone.
“I think it’s over. He’s gone.” he told his wife.
“What did he want?”
Mr. Soon looked at the dead man and the discarded sandwich wrapper.
“Lunch.” he said.