I Will Fear No Evil
He found it in a North Dakota antique shop. It was the first open establishment he’d seen for a stretch and he was dying for a smoke. He hoped there’d be a lighter inside. Then he saw it and couldn’t take his eyes off of it. It was as if it was reeling him in. He asked to see it, but the old man picked it up and turned it around for him without handing it over and said, “Son, best not. No one holds that thing and then wants to put it down. I’ve had a few guys stop by furious ’cause I won’t sell it. Had to call the cops a few times. A young man from Kansas was desperate for money. I could see just how rough it was for him to leave it behind. Said he found it in the most bizarre place and sold me the thing. Next day, he wanted to buy it back for more but I told him I had sold it. Truth is, I spend a great deal of time looking at it, polishing it. It’s a real beaut’. Thirteen slugs, unusual, right? I keep trying to find it in the books but it seems to be one of a kind. Can’t know for sure.”
He had to play it cool or the old man would get suspicious. He picked up some small trash being passed off as ‘antique’ trinkets, pretending. He needed to buy himself time… when this man came in asking for something in the back. The old man got careless – and left the glass unlocked for the display case where he places the gun. He lowered his hand into the case, made no sudden movement hoping to go unnoticed, and he did. The man was looking at other displays. Just like that, the gun was in his hand. He placed it in the back of his jeans, threw several hundred on the counter and got the hell out. He felt shame rising within him – something told him there was no way even a few thousand would be adequate compensation. He could have sworn that the gun itself compelled him to take it.