We're back in the Supers universe this week. This story is set right around the same time as "An Unnerving Discovery."
“Please point your gun at me if it helps you relax.”
The kid’s eyes darted from the father shielding his whimpering children with his body to her. Nicki could see the younger girl’s hands shaking, tremors making the reflections of the florescent lights overhead waver over the polished surface of the pistol. Everything about the girl screamed desperation, and didn’t that just make this whole situation more dangerous?
Nicki found herself staring down the barrel of the pistol a second later. If anything, the kid looked more frightened than ever, but Nicki’s racing heart began to slow. If things went south, she might blow her cover, but she’d live. She couldn’t say the same for the rest of the store’s clientele. Catching the eye of the other girl, Nicki gave her a reassuring smile.
“Better?” she asked. The kid didn’t answer. She just watched Nicki with a wild-eyed gaze. “Hey, it’s just me. One person’s easier to deal with than five, right?”
The girl nodded.
“Now, you don’t look like the sort of girl who goes around holding up convenience stores,” Nicki said. “As a matter of fact, you look like you’re about ready to pass out right now. So why are you?”
“Just shut up and hand over the money,” the girl snapped. She shifted her weight from one foot to the other, widening her stance like she was rooting herself to the spot.
“Alright. Alright,” Nicki soothed.
She turned her head just enough to glance back under the counter and nod to the station attendant. He looked worse for wear, but he moved just enough to open the drawer and begin removing bills. Nicki turned her attention back to the gun wielding teen.
“Okay, money’s coming,” she said. “Look, I just want to know what’s wrong. Us girls have to stick together, right?” Nicki gave the girl the best approximation of a big sister expression an only child could manage.
“You can’t help.” Behind the bad Halloween mask that looked like it’d been shoved behind shoes in a closet for years, the girl’s eyes flicked to the clerk and back. “So stop trying to act like you care.”
The clerk finished gathering the cash and held out a fat wad of bills while trying to keep as much of himself behind the counter as possible. The masked girl stepped around the people on the floor, careful to keep her gun trained on Nicki. The girl snatched money away from the clerk and backed out the door.
“I’m sorry,” she said as the glass door swung closed. Then she turned and bolted.
Nicki cursed under her breath. She yelled for the clerk to call the cops as she dashed out the door.
Each story in this series is 500 words or less and is prompted by a first line taken either from a random first line generator like this one or reader suggestions like "Don't Forget Me" and "Culture Shock." I much prefer working from reader suggestions over generators, but to do that, I need to hear from you.
If you have a prompt you'd like to see done, comment below, send it to my Tumblr asks, Tweet it at me, or leave a comment on any of the audio stories from this series. I'll screen shot it, write it, and post it for you.
A. B. England is a small business owner, mom of two, novelist, all around geek, and avid crafter. She loves mythology, fantasy, and all flavors of science fiction.
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