• A.D. Stephenson

Good Guys With Guns

Abdullah had had enough.

Peter had had enough.

He had spent his life chasing the American dream.

He had moved here from Europe for the promise of a better life.

His parents had raised him as an American – his grandparents had made the country their home.

The promise did not materialise. He kept waiting for something good. For someone to give him that new house, that new car, that new life. No one did.

He had worked hard, supplying the community with cuisine handed down through generations.

He became withdrawn, feasting on conspiracy videos, seeing people like him struggling to get by. The rich and the greedy took all they could. The foreigners sucked up the rest. Until there was nothing left for millions like him.

He was polite to all. He turned the other cheek when he was spat at. When abuse was yelled. Due to the colour of his skin. His name…

Violence simmered within him. He was not going to be walked all over. Those filthy foreigners. The Mexicans. The Arabs. The Africans. What did they know about America? His ancestors created this country.

But enough was enough.

He had waited long enough.

It was time to take action.

It was time to take control.

He grabbed his duffel bag that he had prepared for this moment. The perfect size for concealing a rifle.

He packed a bag up with his rifle and pistol.

He headed to the mall.

He headed to the mall.

Fear set in as he arrived. He tried to control his anger. He waited in the car park.

His anger was bubbling. The greedy had ruined this once-great country. The foreigners had accelerated that. He headed to the centre of the mall.

He watched as a scared and angry man across the car park marched into the mall carrying a hold-all just like his.

It did not take him long to reach the centre. He took a seat by the fountain.

He grabbed his bag and ran into the mall.

He pulled the pistol from his bag. No one even looked his way. He saw one of them heading towards him. He took aim.

He walked quickly to the fountain, saw the gun, lunged at the man, dropping his bag. He heard a shot. Saw the blood. Heard the screams.

He squeezed the trigger as the man reached him. He fell backwards into the water, felt his head crack the centre of the fountain. The last thing he felt.

“The only victim of this horrendous crime is an Irish-American, Peter Marley. It was down to his quick thinking that the attacker did not harm any others. Police reported that Marley was preparing to hand out cakes from his hold-all when Hafiz rushed him. Peter’s single shot was enough to fatally wound Abdullah, who was carrying an identical bag containing more sinister cargo than cake – an M-15 assault rifle. We can only be thankful that this time the good guy with the gun prevailed.”

* * *

If I'm honest, if this was not part of my 500 Words Challenge, I think I'd have done this again and taken more time on it, but my rules at the start were no re-dos and a one-time write. I really like the idea of two men heading out, angry at the world, but with very different ways of dealing with it. In this story, Abdullah Hafiz wanted to give out cakes to promote his restaurant and feel a sense of happiness from his actions, while Peter wanted to destroy those he sought to blame for his own unhappiness.

The ending speaks of the racism that seems so prevalent in the USA today, that police (and the reporter) would assume the crime was not committed by the white-European, but instead by the Arabic looking American citizen.

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