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The International Writers Magazine - Our Tenth Year:

Come With Me Tonight
Randall Pretzer

I told her to come with me tonight. I told her I know the roads were always bright but if she gave me a chance I could show her the light. She wasn’t buying. She said if I wanted sex I could have gone to a whorehouse. I told her why go to a whorehouse when I get it for free by lying. She slapped me. I was being sarcastic but it was the wrong time I guess. She turned her back to me

"Hey…" I said.
She turned around.
"Yes?" It was the coldest voice I have had ever heard.
"I didn’t mean that crack about lying to get it for free….I am sorry."
"You are just sorry."
"I know…you’re right."
"I know I am right."
"Just leave me alone."
"You said you wanted me to leave you alone. I am going to leave you alone."
She now had the look of confusion.
"Interesting." She said.
"What is?" I said and laughed a little.
"You are not pushing me…begging me…you are being passive."
"You told me no….I respect that….I will do as you ask…"
"How can I be sure you will?"
"I promise from here on out as long you and I work at that store…you will never see me….if that is what you wish."
"I am going to hold you to it."
"Please do."
"You remember what I said."
"I promise."
"All right. Bye."

She turned and walked back into our place of work. I was off and I continued with daily rounds. My daily rounds for my days off included getting a soft drink at this grocery store for it had a vending machine that sold canned drinks for only 50 cents and the drive there from my apartment gave me time to listen to my music. I would then go to the mall and walk both ends. I would then go to the book store and then head to my apartment. I read and then watch my sitcoms or boxing videos I had not seen yet. I had not made it to even walking the mall yet when she headed back to work. I never knew how to maintain a friendship with a woman but I sure knew how to fix it. It was the only easy part. I was going to do as I said I would. I would avoid her area. I just don’t know if she wanted me out of her life forever or if she just wanted space. I wondered if she was just testing me? She found me odd for sure. I assumed that other men kept pushing her no matter how many times she said no but with me it took only one no. I don’t think she was use to that. It was a good sign. It would take time. I had plenty of it and patience. These things mostly took patience.

I started on my daily rounds again. I didn’t have a chance to get started for I heard what sounded like a sound from a .45 automatic. I quickly turned to look behind him and I saw a woman laying on her back. There was blood coming from her back I looked around for the gunmen and I felt a hand grab my arm and then twist it. It hurt but I didn’t budge.
"All right…one more move and your arm is history…"
"I know that…" I said.
"Wise guy huh…"
"Well I like to think I am."
"Shut the fuck up."
He held the pistol to my neck and he pulled back slowly.
"All right….anyone tries anything….he dies…"

I thought no shit. It was pretty obvious that would be the conclusion to my life if I or anyone did anything. I couldn’t do anything except hope or wait for him to make a mistake. I heard a shot right next to my ear. I fell to the ground. The gunmen was dead. I saw blood coming from behind his head. I got up slowly and I saw it was the woman from earlier.

"Thank you."
"Don’t mention it."
"May I pay you back in some way?"
"You never quit do you?"
"I am sorry I didn’t mean that. You saved my life. I am indebted to you."
"You are not indebted to me. I did what any of us would have to do in that situation."
"I am sorry if you thought I was making a pass at you. Thank you again for saving my life. I will see ya. Maybe I can get my rounds finished today." I laughed and turned to walk away.
I stopped and turned to face her.
"Just remember what I said earlier?"
"I will I promise."

She put the gun back in her purse and headed back to work. It was rare but our store did allow us to carry firearms with a permit. I never did carry one. I never thought I needed one until today. There were a few odd things I didn’t notice until after I saw her head back to work. There was not a single person in that cafeteria that screamed or even seemed to have noticed anything was happening. They went back to their daily business once the man was shot dead. I contemplated that for a minute and then I lost interest. I went about doing my rounds. I was wondering if I was going to even make it out of the mall. I had to laugh to myself about that.

I made it to the bookstore in one piece. I left at noon and I normally was at the bookstore around 1pm but due to unexpected circumstances I was at the bookstore around 2.30 pm. It was okay. It was all worth it. I did enjoy talking with her and it was going great until I asked her if she wanted to hang outside of work as we were having lunch before she killed the gunmen. We didn’t plan it. I just saw her sitting alone and we had talked before a few times at work so I thought it was appropriate. I went too fast I guess. It was the luck of the draw maybe.

© Randall W. Pretzer June 2009
rpretzer2 at

It Was Just Another Manic Monday
Randall W. Pretzer
It was just another day at work she thought. A typical Monday. No customers. She had four more hours before her shift ended. It was days like these that she begged for a customer

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