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.

“You do?”

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

More by this Author

  • Subtle Forms of Manipulation
    34

    O'Brien knew that somewhere deep down inside him, he could handle a drink. He never truly believed he can go on with his life in the state of sobriety. If he planned to drink after weeks out of rehab,

  • ...Only Loss
    40

    Kimber then started scanning the length of the train station platform and the parking lot looking for any trace of a witness. It was very early in the morning, and the streets were empty and the .....

  • The High Horse Route
    37

    The gatherers just stood around and watched the young woman suffering as their brains were being pickled by stupidity.


Comments 35 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

The descriptions are perfect. You managed to raise suspense to a high level in a very short story. A job well-done, buddy.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia

Riveting story Frank. As Bill said, perfect descriptions that evoke strong emotions,in the reader. Good work.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 12 months ago from Southern Illinois

This has to be one of your very best. I was there hoping against all odds that the gunman would have mercy, but I should have known when you write a thriller it usually ends up sad. Way to go!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 12 months ago from Shelton Author

Thank you so much Billybuc, Jodah and Always exploring for reading my short story


Amanda Abbott profile image

Amanda Abbott 12 months ago from Los Angeles

Wow. What inspired you to write that? Did it come from a similar experience that happened to you or did you just wonderhow a person would feel in that situation? It was obvious the guy felt helpless. I think it's impossible to handle that situation. I would like to think the clerk survived though and the cowardly robber ran out. But, life is full of such situations. Great work, Frank! I can't wait to read your next one.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 12 months ago from southern USA

Yes, suspenseful indeed, dearest Frank! I'm always amazed how you pack so much into a story with so few words. I know it is a gift or sheer talent as a writer.

You are truly a master of suspense. You do take us right into the scene. You make us feel for the victim even more so in your glimpses into his life and mindset ...so sad.

Excellent writing as always.

Hugs and blessings always


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 12 months ago from Shelton Author

Amanda thank you for reading and welcome to my pages.. bless you... oh and Faith my dear Faith.. you are too kind to this old billy goat :) LOL bless you big time dear one..:)


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

So cool. Man o Man you get every time. Why the hell did he have to shoot him and why was he battered up. You bastard you need to make this longer to answer all my questions. Did you know it was only a shot into the wall to scare the clerk while he made his getaway? Alas a boy can dream can't he?


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 12 months ago from Shelton Author

thanks Eric for stopping by my friend.. bless you :)


Dana Tate profile image

Dana Tate 12 months ago from LOS ANGELES

You always leave the reader with a cliff hanger and that is what's so wonderful about your stories. Did the sound of the bell over the door startle the shooter and he shot the clerk? Or, did he turn towards the door and shoot the newcomer? I guess we can draw our own conclusions. I declare I smell a best-selling author. Please let me know when you finish your first novel.


Diana Lee profile image

Diana Lee 12 months ago from Potter County, Pa.

Indeed, evil was there. Cliffhangers always get me. Good story.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 12 months ago from California

Strong write Frank! Gave me chills!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 12 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

Oh my... Frank, I was waiting for an inkling of a miracle; but the world has evil that lives in men like this one behind the mask. I am left wondering if the shot was in response to that bell, and someone else entering the liquor store. Terrific story and metaphor; written by a true pro.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 12 months ago from The Caribbean

"Master of suspense!" I was there watching and hoping as "he closed his eyes and hugged himself." No one does it better.


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 12 months ago from Los Angeles

Hi Frank, The character development is superb! How do you DO that in so few words? This was riveting! I especially loved the description of the gunman's face "his eye looked split and reddish in color. . . " Creepy!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 12 months ago from Shelton Author

Dana, Diane and Audrey.. thank you guys for reading my short story


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 12 months ago from Shelton Author

Genna, MsDora and Cat on a soapbox thanks for taking the time out to read my short story bless you guys..:)


clivewilliams profile image

clivewilliams 12 months ago from Nibiru

i would have knocked that gunman out with my buddy smith and Wesson, Nice tale though. Even though this has been a reality for many people.


annart profile image

annart 12 months ago from SW England

We find out so much about both the characters in just a couple of minutes, you craft these stories so well. Evil, fear, despair, sadness and hate all come through and we're left wondering what we would do. Well done, Frank. You surpass yourself each time.

Ann


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 12 months ago from Shelton Author

you jive Clive thanks for the visit... and always good to see you Annart,, have a blessed day :)


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 12 months ago from Dallas, Texas

With so few words you evoked sympathy for the clerk and his situation. I had truly hoped for a different response from the thief. I feel sadness for the situation that drove the man to rob and for his heartlessness. You are a true natural born story teller, Frank.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 12 months ago from USA

Wow, so real, so horribly sad and evil. You are an ace, Frank. Happy Thanksgiving.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 12 months ago from southern USA

Hey, Turkey ...uh, "old billy goat?" Happy Thanksgiving.

God bless you and yours real good.

Hugs


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 12 months ago from Shelton Author

Pegcole thank you so much and flourish.. bless you oh and ye of so much Faith.. Bless you and yours real good too sunshine :)


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 12 months ago from southern USA

Roll Tide Roll down here this weekend in the Iron Bowl! My big boss calls me sunshine too sometimes as he says I make everyone smile ...Bless you too, darlin'


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 12 months ago from Shelton Author

Roll Tide Roll... get your turkey on girl


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 12 months ago from Stillwater, OK

The wind at the door and the shot. Perfect timing.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 12 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you aviannovice and happy thanksgiving


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 12 months ago from England

So did he kill him? hope not, but he did didn't he? I love your stories! this was amazing!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 12 months ago from Shelton Author

Nell Rose thanks for reading :)


carolinemd21 profile image

carolinemd21 12 months ago from Close to Heaven

Very suspenseful and intense Frank. Nice work. :)


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 12 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much carolinemd21


savvydating profile image

savvydating 12 months ago

The SOB could have walked away, but no....he chose to commit that evil act. An all to real story and perfectly written, as always.


word55 profile image

word55 12 months ago from Chicago

Pretty gruesome Frank. In many cases this really happens. Why should a robber rob for money when they can demand what they want behind the barrel of a gun?


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 12 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much savvydating and word55 for stopping by and reading my evil

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working