November 9

Posted on: November 9, 2012

That’s it, no more runs to town.  It was… disturbing.

I dressed in my usual slacks, long sleeved shirt and vest; the vest to hide my shoulder holster.  Ever since the first quake, I’ve been wearing it even around the house.  Lined car coat was next, and gloves; it’s been chilly, into the 40’s as a high, and I don’t like my hands to stiffen up.

County Road 695 into town was absent any traffic, but that’s not unusual.  I wanted to make this a fast trip so it was a bonus.  I pulled into the Mall parking lot.  My goal was the hardware store in the strip-mall section next to the grocery.  I grabbed one of the cloth shopping bags from the back seat and headed in.

The selection was poor, others had obviously thought about batteries too.  Damn! I could kick myself for forgetting! I did manage three packs of D cell, and two of C.  Not enough since they were only double packs each, so I went next door to the grocery to see if there was any left.  Bonus!  Who looks for batteries in the shampoo aisle? I managed four more packs of D, C, AA and AAA.  Since there were lots of 9v, I took two, but off hand I can’t think of anything I have that has 9v, apparently no one else does either.

Just out of curiosity, I wandered a bit. The beer, wine and liquor section was stripped clean.  The rest of the shelves were near bare.  In the cereal aisle two women were arguing over a canister of oatmeal; I didn’t go down that one. In the produce section, it was worse.  Things were mixed in together, rotten or dumped on the floor.  I did not want to be there.

Marie’s lane was open, so I set the batteries on the conveyor, leaving my cloth bag in the seat of the cart.  Her eyes pooled with tears, and she grabbed my hand across the lane.

“Thank you.  Thank you for the warning.  I did what you said,” she choked out as she rang up my purchase.  I just smiled because I didn’t know what to answer.  I put the batteries in my cloth bag, and turned back to her.

“You take care of yourself, Marie, and if your gut says don’t come in to work, then DON’T. It’s going to get even worse. You know that don’t you?” I whispered.  Again, she just nodded, and I grabbed my now heavy sack and left.

That’s when things really went south.


I got to my car and hit the release button on the key fob to open the hatch.  My eyes were darting around the lot, trying to stay aware like Cloud says to, when I noticed two youngish men walking down the parking lane; one with a baseball bat, the other with what looked like a metal plumbing pipe; and they were looking at me.  Oh, shit.  I set my bag in the car and turned my body slightly, slamming the hatch shut with my right hand while the left hit the lock on the fob, then dropping the keys into my left pocket.  My right hand then slid inside my vest and released the strap on the Keltec that was snug in the shoulder holster.  They were now about seven cars away.

I had never pulled my gun before, although I’ve had my CPL for eight years.  I slid it out and turned to them.

“That’s far enough”, I tried sounding cold and confident, not sure I succeeded, but the sight of the gun pointed at them did stop them. I held the standard two-handed position until they backed away.  With my concentration in front of me, I didn’t hear the cart behind me.

“Ma’am,” a nervous voice stuttered as I turned quick.  He was standing two cars over, with an empty slot between us.  I pointed the gun up when I saw the child in the cart.  “Please, will you stay until I get my son in the car seat?  I didn’t think it would be this bad.” He looked miserable, as he glanced past me.

“Be quick.” Is all I said, and turned back to the punks who had stopped retreating. They apparently then realized this new person was not a threat to me, but to them, and they turned to leave. The father put the child in the car, strapping him in, then loaded the few groceries he’d found.  As he moved to get into his car, I yelled, “Hey, put your cart in the corral!  If we want civilization to continue, WE must remain civilized.”  He hurriedly pushed his now empty cart into the metal corral, and turned to me.

“Thank you, lady, and you’re right about staying civilized.”  Then he left.

I unlocked my car, slid in, relocked the doors, and then set the 9mm down on the seat next to me.  Thought better of that, and put it back in its holster; my hands started shaking, and all I wanted to do was go home.

5 thoughts on “November 9

  1. yes, Jane, I do see it getting worse. This was early in the ‘game’, but after a week, a month… it would lawless chaos.

  2. Those muscles in my stomach were jumping when those two came down the aisle! This is what we prep for. Like Marie I’m thankful for the early warning. Your kindess towards the father and child shows that even under duress you are a caring compassionate person. Yes I think we have to hang on to some civility even atshtf. On that note I’m off to make a cup of tea.

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