Matt's eyes crossed. Nothing says blocked chakra like cold steel shoved into your third eye. "Take whatever, man. Take it."
"I will," the woman chuckled, "ain't a man. By that puddle, you ain't either."
"Quit socializing. Get the register," the big fellow said.
"Shut up and watch the front!" she ordered. Her gun jerked at Matt, "you heard me. Open it."
Matt hit the cash out button. He didn't need to be told twice. The drawer bounced. He pulled bills, slammed them on the counter. Done. Hands back in the air. Sweat trickled down his chin.
"Get down! Now!"
He obeyed. The painfully loud reports and subsequent echoing caused him to ball up. If he could have disappeared inside himself, he would have done so. The door chimed twice. A car squealed. Glancing up at the monitor, he saw no one in the cameras. Gone. Matt called the police and then his manager. The evil wench wanted to argue. "No. I'm going home. They put a gun to my head." He rolled his eyes, "two shots." A huff, "yes, I called the police. Call someone in. I'm out." Matt hung up, grabbed his keys, and headed outside. He needed air. He felt sick and his hip hurt.
Sirens, blue and red flashers, armed men stopped him in the gas station doorway. The chill night air slapped his wet pants. "Hands up!" and "Don't move!" competed with the blaring sirens. Matt complied. The doors bounced off his elbows, bit into the funny-bone. It wasn't funny. His cold jeans were less embarassing than his jumping, tingling nerves. He felt a twitch developing in his left cheek. A twitch. Great, he huffed, I'm the twitchy guy.
Two officers rushed him, yanked him down, and shouted, "how many?"
"Two. They're long gone," Matt said from the ground where his wet pants squished into the concrete.
The police secured the area. Finally an ambulance showed up to take Matt to the hospital.
A red Magnum arrived, a flippant blonde at the wheel. "I'm Denise, the manager. Where's Matt?" she asked the nearest officer.
"Hospital. He was shot." The officer asked, "can you run the tapes back?"
She watched the scene play out a fourth time, before she moaned, "I don't understand. He's passed out. There's no robbery."
"Look. Back it up," the officer said as he tapped the monitor, "there," a flash of light and then Matt curled up into a ball his grey blood seeped onto the linoleum. "We need this tape."
She ejected it, saying, "I'll need a receipt."
Hours later the last cop whisked away to some other emergency. Denise closed the gas station. Goosebumps rippled, she crossed the parking lot. That was exhausting, she sighed. She fumbled with the keys, broke a nail, then plopped into the driver's seat. "Quit socializing..." Denise jumped up, hit her head on the roof of the car. She angrily grabbed the recorder from under her ass, hit "off" and tossed it in the passenger seat. Pounding speed dial #2 on her cell phone, she waited for the beep, and then said, "you peed." Her laughter mingled with the V-8 as she peeled out.