I was down a couple weeks with an illness that shall remain unnamed, but all is well and I’m back in the saddle. Let’s face it, no one likes to feel under the weather especially when all you really want to do is sleep all day.
Nonetheless, on my road to recovery, I seem to have recalled an entry in Terri’s journal detailing an encounter she had when she was sick. If you thought you were irritable when you were sick, how do you think a sociopath with a quick temper would respond. Well, no need to ponder that any longer, you’re about to find out right now.
Episode 4: Drug Store
The remnants of the three-hour thunderstorm were on full display when Terri Buckley stepped out of the house. Lightning struck a tree at the end of the block. The force from the strike split the tree in half and left half in the Johnson family’s front yard with the other half laying in the middle of the road.
Buckley cursed inwardly as she blew her nose for the fourth time since climbing behind the wheel. With the damaged trunk blocking her most direct path to the exit the community, she now had to go out of her way to reach her destination.
Just another dreadful issue to ruin this day. She executed a three-point turn and was considering heading back into the house and forgoing this trip altogether. But she was out of medicine and if the nose blowing wasn’t enough, she had a sore throat and a throbbing headache. No, she would go to the pharmacy, pick up what she needed and be back home in fifteen minutes.
The remainder of the ride was uneventful, but when she turned into the parking lot, she was astonished at how many cars were present. It was a shopping center filled with other stores so it would stand to reason their customers would be visiting, but as she drove around eyeing a parking spot she sighed heavily when she realized the only open spots were the ones furthest from her destination.
In and out, she reminded herself as she opened the car door and was assaulted with the humidity now that the rain ceased. Before closing the door, she reached back in for the travel sized tissues just to be on the safe side.
From the American Pub a few doors down from the pharmacy, she could hear a saxophone being expertly played in unison with someone on the drums. When she reached the sidewalk, she saw the sign, “Live music, half price apps and cocktails till 9:00 pm”. Explains the extra vehicles, she thought.
She was pleased to see her store wasn’t crowded at all. A mother with a newborn in the Bjorn baby carrier, an elderly man talking to the pharmacist, and now her. She dragged herself over to the cold and flu aisle and began weighing her options. She located her drug of choice, scooped it up and headed toward the checkout. She was two steps from the end cap when she heard commotion coming from the front of the store. In addition to her other symptoms, it hadn’t dawned on her how clogged her ears were. To which she had a side thought of how loud the music in the pub must be if she heard it through the closed doors.
When she turned the corner, she witnessed the cashier being held at gunpoint by a hooded figure. “Damn it,” she mumbled under her breath. She could tell by the way the would-be robber held the gun that he, or she, was an amateur. Furthermore, no self-respecting professional holds their firearm sideways. That’s only the crap you see on TV.
To make matters worse, the robber was struggling to force the cashier to bend to his will. He was demanding cash, and she was refusing to open the drawer. Maybe the cashier sensed the same thing she had, amateur.
Apparently it finally registered to the moron that the true money in a pharmacy is in the drugs. He spun away from the cashier and locked eyes with Buckley.
“On the ground,” he demanded.
“That’s not going to happen,” Terri coolly responded.
“Don’t make me shoot you.”
“From that distance and with that .22 caliber, you’ll be lucky to graze me.”
“Well how about I just move closer and place a bullet right in your brain?”
“I wouldn’t recommend that either. In fact, I suggest you leave now and cut your losses.”
“Just who the hell do you think you are? I’m the one holding the gun, so I’m the one making the rules. And right now, I want you face down on the ground.”
Terri sighed and pondered how much energy she wanted to expend. Lucky for him, most of it had been diminished while waiting out the storm, but she had plenty to deal with this foe.
Frustrated with her lack of action, the robber began walking in her direction. “I said -“
Before his second step touched the ground, Terri sprung forward with a punch to his sternum. This action collapsed his shoulders in on themselves as he tried to catch his breath.
She followed a sweep of his right leg and for good measures a punch to the temple as his body dropped to the ground. This last blow caused him to bounce when he hit the ground, but it didn’t matter, he was out before he touched down.
She retrieved the gun that lay harmlessly on the in the middle of the floor. Placed it in her pocket and proceeded to the checkout. The cashier stood there, mouth agape, too stunned to move.
“You may want to call the police. Let them know he’ll need an ambulance.”
She placed her medicine on the counter and pulled her wallet from her pocket. She reached down and grabbed a pack of gum, “I’ll take this too.”
After what seemed like an eternity, the woman rang up her items, bagged them and accepted payment. “Keep the change.” Terri said while retrieving her purchase.
On the way to her car, she dropped the gun in the trashcan after removing all the bullets. She settled into the driver’s seat, cracked open her medicine and took her first dose.
“Back home, to my comfortable bed and heated blanket. Wonder what we’ll be having for dinner.”