Evil Was There In The Most Horrific Sense
The liquor store clerk stood at the counter, his face tingling with fear. He was searching his mind for words he could use to make the masked gun man not shoot him. He could tell the man about his brand new child and his lovely wife. He could also tell him that he needed only fifteen more credits left to get his masters in education. There were so many unfinished business in his life and he didn't want it to end in a shooting.
The clerk saw gray death staring out of the mask. It was an odd look. It was as if the grim reaper stood before him, waiting. The clerk's eyes broke when he tried to return the gun man's stare.
His wife fixed him two sandwiches and a thermos of coffee and he realized that the food she prepared in order to save money might be his last meal. In his coffin he didn't like the idea of having two ham sandwiches and coffee sitting in his stomach. It just didn't seem right.
He emptied the register into a brown paper bag and handed the man the money. He included all the change and what was under the till.
“I forgive you,” he whispered.
“You believe in forgiving people for what's not yours to forgive? For that alone I'd like to shoot your eyes out.”
“I just want to die with a blessed heart,” said the clerk as though retreating from his own words.
The gun man had a thick neck and broad shoulders and when he titled his head to the side, the clerk caught a glimpse of his face when the light hit it. The gun man's face was battered, bruised and bleeding. His eye seemed split and reddish in color.
“Is this all the money?” He asked. “And don't lie to me!”
“I think there is a deposit in the back room,” he nervously replied.
“And you expect me to allow you to get it?”
The clerk nodded slowly up and down.
There was no humor in the clerk's face, only a nervous tic breaching the corner of his left eye. He turned and walked into the back room slowly, almost waiting for the gun to pop. He breathed heavy and came back out with a deposit bag.
The clerk sighed audibly and set the bag on the counter. The masked man grabbed the bag and stuffed it into his shirt. He looked at the clerk and hesitated.
“I have a newborn at home who needs me,” he whispered.
The gun man said nothing.
“My wife doesn't work,” he added.
The gun man raised the firearm at the clerk. His hand was liver spotted, ridged with blue veins and dried fingers. The clerk closed his eyes and hugged himself in terror while he begged for his life.
There was a wind blowing against the window and the bell from the door chimed as a gunshot filled the air. Evil was there in the most horrific sense
© 2015 Frank Atanacio
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