Have gun. Give your money.
“Wait!” Carl shouted. “You want money? I’ll hire you.”
RONNIE AND THE NIGHT CLERK BY JOHN PALMER 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 89
Ronnie entered the convenience store at 4am, a navy hoodie pulled up over his head and his hands shoved into the front pocket. He walked straight up to Carl at the till and said, “Have gun. Give your money.”
Carl studied him. The boy didn’t seem strung out on drugs. His eyes weren’t dilated or pinpoint, they weren’t even bloodshot. Carl thought he had seen him around the trailer park where he lived. He took a chance and said, “Show me the gun. I’m not giving you a thing until I see it.”
The boy just turned around and trudged slowly back toward the front door.
“Wait!” Carl shouted. “You want some money? I’ll hire you.” What on earth had prompted him to say that? Was it the sadness in the boy’s eyes? The quiet desperation?
The boy turned around slowly and looked at Carl. “Don’t know how do nothin’.”
“Help clean the store and I’ll give you five dollars.” Carl knew the …