Chapter 2

“Get up off the floor, bitch!” The voice was loud, angry, scared, hyped up on some kind of drug. “I want the money! Everything you got!”

The ring continued to glow and I just stared at it, completely calm.

“Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!” the man shouted, and while I couldn’t see the front of the store I somehow knew he had a .45 pointed at Dorothy’s face — Dorothy, who had her shaking hands up in the air and was having trouble getting to her feet.

“Please, please,” she started to sob.

The man with the gun struck her across the face, knocked her back down. She landed in the spilt slushie.

“Don’t fucking talk,” the man said. He was Hispanic and his eyes were red and his name was Irving and he needed only fifty bucks for another hit.

How I knew all that I didn’t know, just as I didn’t know why I started to slowly turn around, began to walk toward the front of the store.

“Please, please,” Dorothy sobbed.

“Bitch, you don’t shut your goddamn mouth, I’ll shoot you.”

Dorothy went silent.

“Now get the fuck up and get me my money.”

Her hands still raised, her bottom soaked with slushie, Dorothy managed to get into a sitting position, lean forward, place her weight on one knee, and stand.

“Fucking hurry,” Irving said. He’d waited outside until those two girls left, until there were no more cars in the parking lot, and knew the woman was alone (thought he knew, anyway), and he needed that money, he needed it.

Now standing on trembling legs, tears running down her face, Dorothy started to turn back toward the counter. But her sneaker skidded in more slushie, causing her to slip, to wave her arms wildly, and Irving, already hopped up and wired, thought she was trying to attack him and did the only thing he could do to protect himself.

He shot her three times in the back.

Dorothy stood still for an instant, her arms no longer waving, and then fell forward dead.

“Irving,” I said, standing now at the end of the chip and candy aisle, just a few feet away.

He turned, his eyes even wider, and unloaded the rest of the bullets into my chest.

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