Sheila held the handgun out at arm’s length. Her right hand clenched the grip so tightly that her knuckles were turning white. White like…
She shook her head. No time for distractions. The clerk’s hands were still in the air. He looked like his arms were getting tired. His lip was trembling, which caused the two piercings in it to rattle together. If she weren’t so deadly serious at the moment, she would have laughed. His nametag said “BLOW ME”. Someone had been having some fun with the label maker tonight, it seemed.
When had it come to this? Why was she doing this? Because it was what was right, that’s why. No time for doubts – certainly not now, at any rate. “Hostess doesn’t offer Chocodiles anywhere anymore,” they had told her. “The shelf life, you know. They don’t last long enough. It wasn’t cost effective.” The damned hat-wearers, the Masters of the Id, had stolen her childhood, and she was going to set things to rights. Tonight.
“Look, uhh… ma’am… I,” stammered the clerk.
“Did I fucking tell you to talk?” screamed Sheila, “Did I? Did I fucking say ‘Please, Mr. Convenience Store Idiot, enlighten me with your God-damned pitiable stammering?’ Did I?” She hated to use profanity, but sometimes it just couldn’t be helped.
BLOW ME the convenience store clerk only shook his head, fiercely. Sheila suppressed a grin when his piercings knocked together again. Sweat was running down his brow. She wondered if it would tarnish the silver rings in his eyebrows.
“I’m going to ask you one last time.”
The clerk bit his lip. His eyes flicked toward the door, then away again. Not a chance, thought Sheila.
“And if I don’t like your answer, then our conversation is all over. Do you understand?”
The kid nodded. His eyes had welled up with tears. He didn’t even try to mask his glances for the door, now, but he didn’t dare speak.
“Now,” Sheila said, narrowing her eyes, pausing for effect, “Where are the God damned Chocodiles?”
BLOW ME, night shift clerk at Harry’s OPEN 24 HOURS Pump ‘N’ Dash, took a slow, deep breath. He had the look of inevitability in his bloodshot, green eyes. He swallowed. He swallowed again. His hands were shaking, still up in the air, the muscles in his arms nearly exhausted. He looked like he was making jazz hands. Sheila bit her lip to avoid laughing.
“Quit. Fucking. Stalling,” she growled. She really hated to curse.
“I could sell you… a Twinkie… and a Hershey bar?” he offered.
That did it. Sheila emptied her clip into BLOW ME the convenience store attendant. He danced about for a few seconds as each round struck his chest, which only accentuated the jazz hands effect. Sheila laughed uncontrollably. She dropped the gun. She dusted her gloved hands off on her pants. She vaulted the counter.
With a few keystrokes, Sheila opened the cash register. She emptied the till and stuffed all of the money into the store’s drop safe, then spun the dial on it for good measure. She grabbed a Twinkie from the Hostess stand-up display. After unwrapping it, she crammed it most of the way into BLOW ME’s mouth. Then she added a Hershey bar. She giggled.
Doffing her gloves, she left the store, unlocking the door on her way out. The parking lot was empty at four in the morning. The sun was beginning to rise.
They were all going to pay.