Short Story 1 - (5) The end of the story

The stage is set for the big finale, though I’m not quite sure how ‘big’ it’s going to be.

Jack is ready to go having been given the green light by the girl with the gun.  It seems collateral damage is not on the agenda for her, though he does admit to himself she is between that proverbial rock and a hard place.

The storekeeper still has a plan, shaky at best, to regain hold of the situation, once the customer is out of the shop.  Nervy or not, he doesn’t think she had the capability to pull the trigger.  He knows what sort of person it takes to do that, and she isn’t one of them.

The policewoman is not sure what to expect but thinks that surprise is on her side, and whatever is going on, she will be able to resolve it.  She has her weapon drawn and ready to use.  She had yet to shoot anyone with it.

The girl is at the point of no return, that point where she has nothing left to lose.  Anything she had before was gone, destroyed by the choices she’d made.  No one ever handed out a manual on how you should live your life, or provide a list of people you should avoid, and her father’s prophetic words the last time the men came home with a thud, ‘your life is defined by the choices you make’.
She was not going to jail so it was going to be death or glory.

Now read on:

Jack had heard there were moments where, in a split second, your whole life flashes before your eyes.  His did, and what he saw he didn’t like.

But, then, neither was he very happy about the fact he was nearly out the door before the policewoman on the other side crashed into him and sent him sprawling to the floor.

That was about the same fraction of a second he heard the gun go off, twice, or so he thought and knew he was a dead man, waiting for the bullet.

Another fraction of a second passed as the policewoman tried to unravel the mess they’d become, and at that moment in time felt the tugging at his sleeve and then, as if in slow motion, the sound of the glass door disintegrating behind him.

Annalisa was quite prepared to let the customer go.

She kept one eye on the shopkeeper and one on the customer, sidling towards the door.  The gun was ready to shoot the first person who made a wrong move.

Or so she told herself.  It was getting heavy in her hand, she was shaking almost uncontrollably now, and was getting more and more frightened of the consequences.  She didn’t think, if she aimed, she could hit the side of a barn let alone a person standing ten feet away from her.

The customer reached the door.

At exactly the moment he put his hand on the door handle to open the door, another person was pushing the door, trying to make their way in.

With force.

She saw the blue cap, guess it was the police, though she hadn’t heard the siren, but also guessed the shopkeeper might have a silent alarm.


One shot, instantly in the direction of the door, not necessarily ailed at the two people now collapsing to the floor in a tangled mess, but at the door itself.

The impact, yet another guess, might shatter the glass and make it easier to escape.

After one more job.

The hell with Simmo.  He’d dragged her down the rabbit hole far enough.  Simmo knew her first name, that she had rich parents, but nothing else.  Besides, he was in such bad shape she didn’t think he’d recover.

The shopkeeper had no idea who she was, it was the first time she’d been to his shop, and now, after a few weeks with Simmo, not ever her mother would recognize her.

She swiveled the gun and aimed it at the shopkeeper and pulled the trigger.,  One less dealer in the city was good news not bad.

She saw it hit, not exactly where, but it caused him to twist and start falling to the ground, at the same time letting out a very loud scream.  Panic or anger?

She wasn’t waiting to find out.

A last glance at Simmo, now down for the count, she ran for the door, past the two on the floor, what she could now see was a policewoman with her weapon drawn, but unable to use it.

She crashed through the remainder of the glass shards put into the street and ran.

In the distance she could hear a police car coming, siren blaring.  A warning if there was ever one to run harder, up the road, down an alley, out into another street, then down into the subway.


It took fifteen seconds to disentangle herself from the customer, pushing him away, and getting to her feet, weapon aimed.

At nothing but air.

The girl had gone, and then she had the vague recollection of a shadow passing her as she was facing the other way getting to her feet.

And running out the door.

Five more valuable seconds as her brain processed this piece of information before it issued the command to go out the door and see which way she went.

Another ten seconds to get out the door, and see the police car coming from the same direction she had earlier, screeching to a halt outside the shop, a car door opening, and an officer getting out.
Margaret was guessing at the driver to drive down the road where she guessed the girl had run, managing to yell breathlessly at the office getting out, “She’s gone that way,” and pointing.
The officer relayed the message and closed the door as the car sped off.

“What happened?”

“Shots fired by a woman, more a girl, in the process of a robbery.”

She ran back inside the officer following.

The customer had moved to a corner and was standing, testing his limbs, with an expression that said he was amazed he was still alive.

“Over behind the counter.  She shopkeeper.  He was standing there.”

The policeman rounded the end of the counter and looked down.  “He’s here.  It’s not looking good.”
Margaret didn’t hear him.  She was calling an ambulance.

Next, the whole story, the first draft

© Charles Heath 2016-2018


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