I’m at the mind-bendingly lush Harris & Hoole coffee shop at Tesco Extra just before Christmas, quietly considering whether I’d like to select drowning in their cappuccinos as my chosen method of death, when one of the two guys sitting at the table next to me leans across to his mate and says something that actually makes me spill some of my coffee into the saucer. He says:
‘We have to stop Luke killing people.’
I concentrate very hard on my laptop at this point: very, very hard.
‘You think he’s getting out of control?’ says the other guy, thankfully ignoring the fact that I’ve stopped typing.
‘Hell, yeah: he’s killed the last five people we’ve met.’
I freeze. The last five people he’s MET? Fu*k me; this guy sounds like a complete psychopath.
I start tapping away on my laptop, just to look like I can’t hear what they’re saying.
‘You think he’s going to stop?’
‘No time soon. Don’t get me wrong: I know why he’s doing it. He thinks it makes him more attractive to the girls.’
‘Yeah: I’m totally with you.’
‘What do we do?’
‘It’s a tough one.’
‘I try to ignore him most of the time, when we the stuff he does starts affecting the rest of us….’
‘We should kill him.’
At this point, my blood runs cold and I try to peer out of the corner of my eye to get a good look at the guy who spoke.
‘We can’t just kill him, Rob.’
‘We could kill him. We just need to get him when his guard is down.’
What the actual FUCK? These guys think that this is a conversation for a coffee shop?
Now I’m beginning, very slowly, to tense up. My muscles are bunching together (all three of them) and at least five of my neck hairs are starting to stray away from the pack. I’m tightening my fists and preparing mentally to defend myself against these two apparent killers who have dropped in for a casual coffee at Harris & Hoole on their way to the next wipeout.
Then my heart really starts to rip out of my chest, because Killer A suddenly turns to Killer B and says:
‘Shut up! Here he comes.’
A third guy joins them and shuffles one of the tables next to theirs. He must be Luke because, frankly, he looks like a dog turd with teeth.
He gives the pair of them a high five and a cheeky wink.
‘Lukey boy! How’s it going, brother?’
Luke shrugs. ‘No’ bad, no’ bad. Good game last night, eh?’
‘That scrap with the goblins went well.’
‘Megadeath! That critical totally decapitated the chief!’
I stare off into the distance, and roll my eyes.
They’re bloody Dungeons & Dragons players.
Of course they are.
I should have guessed.
Luke isn’t a killer: he quite obviously still lives at home with his mum, probably has a running subscription to World of Warcraft and writes Christmas cards to his hand.
I know all this, because ten years ago that dude would have been my best friend.
The masks we wear, eh?
We Have to Talk About Luke was originally written by Davey Stone in 2015. If you enjoyed ‘We Have to Talk About Luke’ please consider following the blog. Thanks for reading!