She’s a High Standard .22 mag over/under derringer. She has a certain feel when you hold her in your hand. She just fits like those rare pair of shoes you try on and instantly they seem they were made from your footprint. Sometimes at night while watching TV, I clean her just as an excuse to hold her. Don’t get me wrong, it ain’t sexual. At least, I don’t think so. But next to my dick, nothing feels better in my hand.
You wouldn’t believe the kick when you fire her. With a one handed grip, she really hops when she spits. You wouldn’t think a little .22 mag would kick like that but she is a real buckin' bronc.
I take her to an indoor range every few months to let her play. More fun than walking a dog for sure and nothing to pick up but brass. I learned right away that past seven feet, your chance of missing is 50-50. To me she is a contact weapon. If I’m more than a foot from you, I’d rather run than use her.
I wear her in a sweet ankle holster on my left leg. I always wear pants with a normal sized pant leg. No boot cut jeans for me. She needs to know I can reach her if we’re threatened. We’re simpatico that way.
I bought her on a whim. I’m no gun nut. In fact, she’s it for me. Don’t have a CCW permit either. I’ll take my chances. She’d never come out in public unless something real bad is going down.
This is all just background to bring you up date on the shit storm that suddenly blew my way.
I was leaving the mall and about to open my car door when this tall, rangy nervous-type dude yells in my direction, “Hey mister, help a guy out with some change?”
“Sorry man, no change.” I hate talking to these guys, especially the aggressive ones. They never let it drop.
“Come on, man. I haven’t eaten since yesterday.”
“Sorry, I’m in a hurry.”
He closes fast as I reach my door. I see him eating ground with big steps and know right away this ain’t going to end well.
He suddenly produces an old army field knife and thrusts it to my throat.
What I can see out of the corner of my eye, it’s been well used. If he cuts me, the infection alone may kill me.
“Too fucking important to help a guy in need, are ya? Well, now you’re gonna help til it hurts.”
“Hey look man, take my wallet, watch too. Just be cool.”
“Oh, so now you’re gonna be Mr. Nice Guy?”
“You’re the boss, just ease up on the knife.”
“Relax, we’re going for a ride.”
“No way, take the car and get out of here before security sees you.”
Then, he cuts me. I feel the warm stream run down my neck into my collar.
I unlock all the doors. He stiff arms me into the driver’s seat. He slides into the rear seat directly behind me. The knife is again at my throat.
My heart races as I try to think of my next move.
“Now drive, mother fucker. Turn right and get on the freeway.”
“Okay, but ease up on the knife. I can’t drive with that blade at my throat.”
He moves the knife from my Adam’s apple and starts digging the point into my neck at the base of my skull.
I start out of the lot and consider running into a parked car to end this ordeal but I’m afraid the blade may sever my spinal cord.
“What do you want? Just take the damn car. Why do you need me?”
“Shut the fuck up, asshole, and do as I say. Take the freeway to the 10th Street exit and go east.
Shit, 10th Street is an industrial area. There won’t be anyone there this time of night.
I make the turns as instructed. He’s jumpy as hell. This hype is totally unpredictable. He directs me to slow and pull into an empty lot next to a warehouse.
I stop and wait. I know if I play the wrong card, the percentages are definitely not in my favor. Maybe he’ll just pull me out and drive away. Sweet Jesus, get me out of this and I promise I’ll be in church on Sunday.
“Place your wallet on the passenger seat. Now open your door and get out.”
We exit slowly together. The knife leaves my neck for only an instant.
He moves behind me. The blade returns to my throat reopening the congealed wound.
“Hold out your keys and slowly walk to the rear of the car.”
We walk together, bodies touching like synchronized ice dancers. He takes my keys and pops the trunk.
Alarms go off in my brain. I’ve played the percentages til now. He can have the car, my money, my credit cards and some of my blood but now he’s playing his ace and it’s time to go “all in”.
I lift my left leg to climb in and place my shoe on the edge of the trunk. I reach with my right hand to pull myself in but grab my ankle and my waiting protecting angel.
In the dark, he never sees the move. I free her and she jumps into my palm. I turn and in my meekest voice say, “Please, don’t do this.”
In an instant her barrel finds his temple like a heat seeking missile. She explodes.
Yeah, he cuts me good as he drops like a sack of manure falling off a loading dock. Both eyes crimson as the .22 round plays pong inside his skull.
There is one thing in this world that I know for sure.
Never, ever, get in the trunk.
David Price is an ex-college jock and retired probation officer residing in San Diego. Writing is a new hobby in his retirement. His recent efforts can be found at Thuglit #28 and A Twist of Noir 016.