Stephen had the gun. It was in his hand. But he knew he couldn’t raise it fast enough. The panther would be on him in a split second. The cat’s mouth was sickening to look at. Were the meat remnants hanging from his teeth from a human?
He waited, hoping that it would spare his life. He needed a plan, but what? He froze, the cat was only a few feet from him. They stared eye to eye for some time. An hour maybe? It seems that it must be at least an hour.
Stephen was tiring, he was losing his stamina. If only he could sit. He tried thinking of things he’d enjoyed in his life. Skiing, sex. Nothing helped.
He felt himself slipping away when he heard a voice at the other end of the block yell, “Hey you! Stop and tell me who you are. This area is now off limits.”
The sound of the man’s voice excited the animal. It was as if he’d tired of the game with Stephen. He turned charged toward the poor soul down the street. Stephen could hear the man screaming. He ran to the ladies room and went through the door.
Inside, his shock at seeing an empty room kept his mind confused. “How can this be?” He wept like a baby, his body plummeted until he sat on the floor. When there were no more tears, he looked at the gun. He raised it to his head, the idea of pulling the trigger too much for him to bear. He could no longer hear the beast outside the door, so he stood. He had to try to get back to his wife and baby. He needed to protect them from people like Eve. His hand was on the knob, it was turning. Then he quietly pulled it open.
He saw happy people in the coffee shop. He saw Eve with Ron and Christine sitting with others at a large table. He saw a fantasy driven type of design to the room. The walls, the graffiti, the old photos. Never had he seen the likes of such a place. But it was Eve that drove him to step into the strange café. It was pure hate for her that prompted him to step into the room and raise his gun, fire off a bullet to scare the people. It was Eve, the most dangerous traitor in history. And he would take her back and turn her in. He would be a hero for saving many lives. She needed to be gone so people could get back to their normal lives.
He shouted, “I want everyone to get up and empty your pockets. Put your belongings on the tables, then lay down on the floor.” What am I doing? He’d seen it in movies. He’d go with it until he could figure out how to take Eve back with him.
Donna was behind the counter. She carefully groped for the alarm button. Her fingers tapped it, she put pressure on it. It was silent to them, but it did alert the police. She knew help would be there soon. They had to do as he said, but only for a few minutes.
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