By Wakefield Mahon
Big Bertha, that’s what the boys called her in school. I thought she had moved out of Folmun. I certainly didn’t expect to see her in line at First National Bank.
“Hello Lupe.” Her lips never moved.
So she knew. All those years in school, I could read her mind; I knew what the boys did to Beatrice after school. I never stood up for her.
A gunshot interrupted my guilty pity party. I’d been so focused on her, I hadn’t noticed the man, but now his anxiety hit me like a wall.
A teller triggered an audible alarm and the robber panicked. He shot the teller and a guard who was fumbling for his sidearm. Then he started shooting customers at random.
Beatrice glanced at me and transmitted a single thought. “The quality of mercy is not strained.” Before I understood what she meant, she launched herself forward, tackling the gunman and taking several shots to the chest in the process.
Spurred by her action, I wrestled the gun away and subdued the stunned attacker with the help of a few other customers.
The police and paramedics were on their way but by the silence in my head, I knew she was already gone. The peaceful look on her face still haunts my nightmares.
I guess you could say that’s why I joined the force. I won’t, I can’t let her example, her sacrifice, go unanswered. I will never stand by and let an innocent person get hurt again.
250 Words from the world of Full Moon City