Episode One: The Horn: Scene 9

The feeling that I was going insane stayed with me. Or that something was going on. In a logical moment, I did wonder if my real father was some kind of mob guy.

Real father. Unreal father. How real could somebody be if I couldn’t remember him? I was at work, making sandwiches. It didn’t require that much thought. Just as long as I didn’t get a customer’s order wrong. My mind was free to wander in all sorts of unpleasant directions. It being summer we were selling more salads than subs, and more cold subs than hot ones. It being summer, it was still light outside.

So, the first thought through my mind was “broad daylight?” There were three men. Masks. Guns. A hold-up, except something prickled through my mind. I did what I was supposed to do and hit the panic button as I ducked behind the counter and stayed there. The bins containing the ingredients would probably slow the passage of any bullets that hit them. Probably.

I wasn’t to risk myself. I didn’t have the combination to the safe, and if they wanted what was in the register, they got it. It was all insured anyway.

I sidled to it without exposing any part of my body, but then one of them was coming over the counter. That, I hadn’t expected. A solid vaulting move, and I could have sworn in that moment that the eyes behind the mask were red. Deep, demonic red.

The gun was pointed right at me. “Whoah. Easy. I’ll give you the money,” I found myself saying, although a deep part of me wasn’t scared at all.

A deep part of me knew at some bizarre level that I was completely safe. Maybe I read something in his body language, a reluctance to shoot, but I knew I couldn’t count on it.

Three of them. The cops wouldn’t be here for at least five minutes, if we hadn’t caught them on donut break. Staring down the barrel of the gun, and seeing his finger start to twitch…and moving instinctively, towards him. Towards, not away, knocking the gun to one side. It fired, the bullet lodging itself in the sound dampening tiles with an odd-sounding thunk, and then I was twisting around behind the guy. “Okay. Go ahead. Shoot now,” I said from behind him.

“I see you haven’t forgotten everything,” one of them said.

“Go ahead.” I realized I not only didn’t care if they shot him, but I actually wanted him dead. He’d dared to threaten me. He’d dared to point a gun at me. It was more than just anger, it was a definite, distinct feeling of wrath. That this sort of thing shouldn’t be happening to me.

His gun wavered.

“Leave. I’ll let him go after you.” I thought I heard sirens, but knew it was my own imagination. By the time they got here.

They left. I pushed the guy back over the counter, not sure how I had the strength to do so. The gun stayed. After a moment of hesitation I picked it up…I was wearing gloves…and hid it inside my jacket.

Somehow, I thought it would be useful. But they had wanted to kill me. Or to test me, to see what I hadn’t forgotten.

How come the only thing I remembered was how to hurt people?

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