Rose Petals: That’s not a real gun!
Kathleene Runnels is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
I was handing the clerk my change, and he was handing me my ice-cream cone. It had been a very hot afternoon when we picked Mother up from the airport. So on our way home, we decided to stop at a convenience store for something refreshing. Vance, who was 14 at the time, had come along, and he was standing near the entrance, looking over some magazines. Mother was standing to my right.
I was paying for my treat, and suddenly time halted. As I looked at the face of the attendant, he was looking at a newcomer to the counter. I looked to my left and down, in the direction of the attendant’s gaze, still with my hand extended, to see a short, opened-shirt fellow holding a very long, silver pistol. It seemed to be resting on the counter, but it was definitely pointed at the clerk. The culprit began shouting profanities, and the clerk carefully turned around and reached for a key. He opened the drawer and removed its contents. All this seemed to be happening in slow motion. I remember thinking, smugly, “What is this guy doing!? That’s not a real gun....” It’s like you’re seeing something you have never seen before, and the brain has to make sense out of it.
And finally I did come to my senses and gently but hurriedly took Mother by the hand and retreated to the back of the store. Vance, meanwhile, was still up front, along the robber’s exit path, reading magazines. From the rear of the store, I whispered as loud as one can whisper, “Vance, Vance....” Then I motioned frantically for him to come here. He looked up; saw the conflict; and hurried back to me. About the time he reached my side, the robber turned and fired his weapon into the air and bolted out the door, right past where Vance could have been directly in his path. Oh, thank God, Vance got out of his way. And next time I see someone waving a pistol, I’ll believe it’s real.
Oh, by the way, I never did get my ice-cream cone or my change....