c/w: gun violence, active shooter scenario
He strode into the department store, his hands jammed into his deep overcoat pockets. He went to the back corner, the housewares department. He took a gun out of his pocket and shot a couple who were looking at frying pans.
He came back through sporting goods, shot a man holding a golf club, ducked down the next aisle, and took out a staff member and a customer discussing baseball bats.
In hardware, he shot a man examining a chainsaw.
More quickly now, he moved and spotted a man crouched down behind a display case, covering his head.
The gunman took a gun out of his other pocket and shot the crouching man. The man keeled over and was prone on the ground. The gunman placed his first gun in the hand of the dead man.
He called out, “I got him! I got him! It’s OK! I got him!”
A police officer was there, pointing his gun at the gunman, who was holding his second gun out to the side. “Put the gun down!”
“It’s OK,” said the gunman. “I got him.”
“Put the gun down!”
The gunman was too slow to react and the officer shot him.
As he died, the gunman thought, “Damn. Damn cops are always so trigger-happy.”
Bill Kitcher's stories, plays, and comedy sketches have been published and/or produced in Canada, the U.S., Bosnia and Herzegovina, Holland, India, Ireland, and the U.K. Bill’s distant ancestors are from Hampshire, England, where they were landowners. Some of them moved to Jersey, and then in the next generation moved back to England, where they returned to a state of peasantry, where Bill’s family deserves to be.