Susan

The Wool SuperStore was closed up for the night. Frank had shut the roller doors already and left Susan with the key to the glass front door. She arranged the orange balls of wool cautiously and built the wool shapes back into the mountains they were this morning, before grotty careless hands had disturbed them.
Susan’s mobile phone rang and she picked it up but pressed the wrong button. But whoever it was knew Susan’s technology expertise and they phoned back.

“Grandma, where are you?” It was Sally, her six year old grand daughter.
“Mum said you were coming over after work and its dinner time already and you’re not here and Sarah just did a wee on the carpet coz she didn’t have her nappy on but she didn’t do a poo.”
“That’s lovely sweetheart. Glad she didn’t poo on the carpet. I’ll be there soon – finishing packing up the store. I’ll be there in half an hour.”
“Oh good. Can you bring me a pony and an elephant and a rhinoceros on your way home?”
“Just one of each?”
“Yepp, just the one.”
“No problem at all. See you soon!”

Susan hung up. Everything seemed to be in order and every wool pile was nice and neat and the knitting needles back on the correct shelves.
She was putting away her mug in the back room when she heard a thud near the front door. Susan froze. She was the last person to leave the store every night and she knew very well that knitting needles did not fly off the shelves by themselves and if any of the drunk yobbos from the pub were trying something tonight there would be hell to pay. But Susan’s heart still raced as she picked up a knitting needle on the way to the kitchen door. She peeked out of the room. She could see the front door through the coloured wool mountains and it was closed. She couldn’t see anyone at all. She listened to the silence. Nothing.

She breathed a sigh of relief and picked up her keys and walked briskly to the door. She was almost at the door when she heard a sound behind her. This time the hairs on her arms stood straight up and with a sickening shock she realised someone was in the store with her.

She turned slowly. A tattooed man was standing behind the lay-by and exchange counter. His eyes were black and staring at Susan. He was tattooed all the way up his shoulders and his neck which was thick like a withered old tree trunk but he only looked about 40. He didn’t say anything. Susan’s head was spinning and thoughts of how they would find her body raced through her head. Will it be a stabbing, with Susan’s body behind the counter, carved up like sushi? Or a nice neat bullet to the head?

Susan thought she would try a different tack. She’s seen the method on Law and Order. The Distraction Method.
“Oh hi there. You must be here to rob me? That’s great! But sadly we have mostly credit card and EFTPOS transactions here. Most shops do these days. You could probably grab about sixty two dollars from the till. Help yourself. Anyway, I have a very bad memory so if you leave now I probably won’t remember your facial features.”

The man behind the counter walked over to Susan and stood about a metre from her face. He stank of old alcohol and armpits. He held a gun in front of her face.
“Are you some kind of smart ass bitch are you? Do you think that might save you from getting your head blown off?”
Susan breathed in and out slowly.
“No. I just think you need money and I’m telling you to take it.”
“Yeah well I fucking will you old bitch. Sit the fuck down.”
Susan sat down on the Husband Couch at the front of the counter as the man went back to the business of robbing the store. He emptied the till and put the disappointing sixty two dollars in a back pack.

When he had filled his bag and the till was empty, he looked at Susan and smiled. His teeth were yellow with one missing from the front left. Susan made a mental note of that and visualised the police sketch.
“What makes you think I want money anyway? How do you know I’m not into grannies?” He stepped closer to her, grinning. Susan saw that his gun was on the front counter.

Susan visualised the front page of the Herald tomorrow: GRANNY RAPED IN WOOL STORE. No, that won’t be happening, thought Susan. Not today.
As he took one more step towards her, Susan lifted the knitting needle and slammed it with all her strength into his balls. His scream was truly terrifying. The polished wooden floorboards collected a small pool of blood. Susan noted in wonder how quickly he had bled. But by this time she was running to the front door with the key in her hand, with the tattooed man running after her but with an obvious disadvantage: he had a knitting needle lodged in his balls. Susan got to the door first and with shaking fingers, managed to pull it open and then slam it closed behind her. He banged on the door but she’d locked him in. She ran screaming towards the lights of the coffee shop on the corner.

Susan was sipping herbal tea the next morning, in bed with Sally tucked in next to her, brushing her whorish Bratz doll’s hair. Katrina came running to the bedroom with the Herald in her hands.
“Mum! You’re famous!”
Susan smiled as she read the headline: GRANNY SPEARS ATTACKER THROUGH SCROTUM.

Susan

Neety

Penrith, Australia

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